Girls tennis: Prospect's success continues at Carmel

By John Phelps
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 10/5/2019 6:21 PM

Ever have the feeling that everything is falling into place?

That could be said about the Prospect girls tennis team, which posted a 3-0 mark in winning the Carmel Catholic quad on Saturday morning.


Fenwick was second at 2-1, while host Carmel and Wauconda were 1-2.

"We were successful last year and it's carried over," Knights coach Mick McColaugh said. "This is a fun weekend for us in that we play some good, unfamiliar competition."

The Knights, who are 14-0 this fall, won the MSL East last weekend and feature three standout sophomores in No. 1 singles player Nikki Zakrzewski and the No. 1 doubles team of Natalie Katsaros and Katherine Doyle.

"They love to compete and have found ways to win," McColaugh said. "They've raised the talent level around our program. And our seniors really improved and help our depth."

In its opening match, Prospect cruised past Carmel Catholic 4-1. Senior Jolene Neuhalfen breezed past Justine Baladad 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 singles. At No. 2 singles, Carmel's Sofia Coury was victorious 6-2, 6-2 over Lana Alvey.

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At No. 1 doubles, Prospect's Alex Giannopoulos and Kendall O'Malley escaped with a hard-fought 3-6, 6-4, 10-6 victory over Emma Thomas and returning doubles state qualifier Reilly McGinn.

At No. 2 doubles, Cassie Voicu and Hannah Pescaru defeated Carmel's Katie Lach and Taylor Spalding 6-2, 6-2. Prospect's Gretchen Cozine and Sainee Patel earned a 3-6, 6-2, 10-5 decision over Alex Monroe and Izzi Holaday at No. 3.

"It was a fun day," Carmel coach Chris Kannenberg said. "We got everything in before the rain. Quads are gaining in popularity because the team stays together throughout the match. It's also easier to get into a groove, and especially if the weather cooperates."

"More than half of our team is seniors," Kannenberg said, "and we're fourth heading into our conference tournament next week, which is where we expected to be."


Wauconda had a great match against Prospect, as Megan Hackman and Sophia Esquivel outlasted the Knights' Doyle and Katsaros 3-6, 6-1, 10-8.

"Definitely the match of the day," McColaugh said.

Hackman is a sophomore and returning state qualifier in singles.

Carmel Catholic and Wauconda are in the Lakes sectional.

"The whole system of (Class) 1A and 2A helps getting players to play level-appropriate," said Kannenberg.

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