Girls tennis: DuPage County and Fox season preview

  • Glenbard South returns its No. 1 singles player, Lorenza Foster Simbulan.

      Glenbard South returns its No. 1 singles player, Lorenza Foster Simbulan. John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Keira Polach is back for a York team that took 10th last year in the Class 2A state tournament.

    Keira Polach is back for a York team that took 10th last year in the Class 2A state tournament. Daily Herald file photo

  • Chloe Siegfort is back at Jacobs for her senior season after training in Florida last year.

      Chloe Siegfort is back at Jacobs for her senior season after training in Florida last year. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • St. Charles North's No. 1 singles player Allison Gizewicz qualified for state last year.

      St. Charles North's No. 1 singles player Allison Gizewicz qualified for state last year. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
By Dave Hess
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 8/29/2022 6:27 PM

Can Hinsdale Central's girls tennis team repeat as Class 2A state champs?

That's one of the questions surrounding the upcoming season in the DuPage County and Fox area.

 

The Lady Red Devils return seniors Sophia Kim, Bridget Novatney and Nicole Hu. Kim and Katie Dollens, who graduated, were second in the state in doubles last spring.

"The goal is to take the conference, sectional and state meets one match a time," said Red Devils coach Shawna Zsinko.

That's not the only intriguing question,

Can Timothy Christian actually improve on its third-place finish in Class 1A from a year ago?

Can York improve on last season's 10th-place finish in the state's 2A tournament?

With the returns of seniors Chloe Siegfort and Lara Santa Ines, what type of season will Jacobs have?

Can Batavia repeat its success from 2021?

Timothy Christian, under the tutelage of Keith Mills, return 6 state qualifier from last season's third-place squad in 1A.

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Trojans junior Chrystina Lee. 38-5 a year ago, is a 2-time Class 1A all-stater. She finished in the top 8 a year ago. Junior Clarissa Chen posted a 34-8 record a season ago. Chen, a top 12 finisher in doubles a season ago, is a 2-time all-stater and a 2-time sectional champion. Sophomore Jane Carter enjoyed an exceptional freshman campaign. She posted a 37-6 mark and finished in the top 12 at the state meet in doubles.

Seniors Angie Tornabene, Maddie Drye and Miliana Martens were state qualifiers as juniors.

"Coming off a third-place finish will be hard to replicate even though we have top players returning," said Trojans coach Keith Mills. "We are hoping to win a third straight sectional. We should be bolstered by the top 2A competition we face."

York is returning sophomore Lizzy Isyanov, a top 16 finisher in the state a year ago. Also back are state qualifiers senior Keira Polach and junior Lindsey White. Juniors Bella Bjerken and Claire Hewitt along with sophomore Josie Cohn have varsity experience. Freshman Sophia Filip hopes to crack the Dukes lineup.

"We want to work hard and build camaraderie," said coach Courtney Bison. "We have hard working positive and disciplined kids."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

At Jacobs, Siegfort missed her junior season training in Florida. The Fox Valley Conference singles champ as a freshman and sophomore was a state qualifier both years.

Siegfort will continue her tennis career at Division II University of Sioux Falls.

Ines, who was a state qualifier and a FVC doubles champ as a sophomore, tore her ACL is her first match of her junior season. The Eagles also return sophomore Kylee Cohn, a state qualifier as a freshman.

"We want to have competitive relevance in the FVC again," said Jacobs coach Jon Betts. "Chloe, Lara and Kylee are a talented trio to lead the way."

Batavia, 18-1 a year ago, won the DuKane Conference with a perfect 7-0 slate. The defending sectional champs return senior state qualifier Dhruthi Daggubati (27-12). Others returning are seniors Taylor Steinys (17-1), Hannah Schneider (17-1), Madalyn Vieu (15-2), Addison LaManna and Audrey O' Connell (12-0). Junior Erin Connolly (20-5) and sophomore Julia Arulandu (18-5) return after solid years in 2021.

"We want to compete for weekend titles and repeat as conference and sectional champs," said coach Brad Nelson. "We want to bond as a team."

Other teams to watch

Elsewhere in the area, Aurora Central Catholic, second in the Metro Suburban in 2021, hopes to bring home the top prize in 2022.

Seniors Stella Feldhaus, Madison Schramka and Emily Henrich along with junior Amanda Bush and sophomore Matilda Feldhaus are back for the Chargers.

"We want to bring back the Metro Suburban Conference title that we won in 2020," said ACC coach Giselle Salazar.

Bartlett returns three starters from a team which finished third in the Upstate Eight Conference. Senior Jillian Burkart and juniors Shreena Patel and Aishwitha Sankara are back for the Hawks.

"We hope every player improves," said Bartlett coach Colleen Brandner. "We hope to improve in the conference standings.

Benet is a young and talented. The Redwings return 3 sophomores that enjoyed stellar freshman campaigns.

Benet, 19-3 overall and champions in the East Suburban Catholic with 7-0 mark, won the Class 2A sectional and was 15th in state.

Sophomore Clare Lopatka was conference and sectional singles champ and was a state qualifier.

Sophomores Shane DeLaney and Meredith Converse were state qualifiers as freshmen.

"We have a good returning core," said Benet coach Michael Hand. "The sectionals will be a tough task to repeat. There are some good and competitive teams in the area."

Cary-Grove is led by senior Annabella Gaffaney. Also returning with experience for the Trojans are seniors Maggie Groos and Teagan Bowers along with juniors Addie Lee, Chloe Warner and Kathleen O' Malley. Senior returnee Mary Sessoms will miss the 2022 campaign with an ACL injury.

Crystal Lake South lost eight starters from last season's team which finished second in the Fox Valley Conference. Returners for the Gators are seniors Jaden Applehans, Elena Cangelosi, Abby Jurrens and Phoenix Maag. Jurrens, the FVC champion at No. 3 singles, was a perfect 18-0.

Downers Grove North is guided by junior Emily Whittmer. As a sophomore, Whitmer was a state qualifier and lost to eventual Class 2A state champ Sarah Wang.

Senior Maddie Kiefer along with juniors Ella Book, Claire Flanigan and Helen Jones are back for Glenbard East. The Rams finished second in the Upstate Eight Conference.

Downers Grove South has four returners in seniors Catherine Hewawissa, Elle Vanderlaan, junior Julia Urgello and sophomore Antosia Olechowski.

Dundee-Crown's 2022 team will be led by Rajul Shah, Andrea Llavan, Karina McElroy and Sasha Bozovic.

Elgin's Golnaz Douzali has returnees Aadi Patel and Mahi Patel. Suhani Gandhi is a newcomer to watch.

Elgin Academy will be paced by junior Priyanka Bhogaraju, who played as a freshman at Barrington and sat out her sophomore season.

Senior Noelle Lanton and sophomore Addison Lanton also return for the Hilltoppers.

Elgin Academy placed seventh in the state in 1A a year ago.

"We want to finish at least in the top five in state," said coach Sterling Perez. "Priyanka is a great addition to the team."

Geneva is trying rebound from a winless 2021 season. The Vikings return seniors Katelyn Baer and Annabelle Karch, and juniors Aashi Jain and Annie Tomko.

"Last year was filled with injury, illness and heartbreaking losses," said Geneva coach Zach Evans. "We have our whole starting lineup back."

Back for Hampshire is seniors Izzy Masetti and Gabby Montenegro and juniors Ava Carroll, Isabelle Williamson, Christina Cruz and Rachel Brunsting.

Glenbard South is led by junior Lorenza Foster Simbulan, a top 30 finisher in singles in 2A a year. Naya Allen is also back for the Raiders, the defending Upstate Eight Conference champs.

"We hope to finish in the top half of the conference," said coach Bruce Fraser.

Glenbard North is paced by senior Risha Bhagat and junior Isabella Deleon. Newcomer Sydney Gromaka looks to contribute.

Glenbard West is led by junior state qualifier Mira Kernagis. Also returning for the Hilltoppers are senior Norah Chirila and sophomore Audrey Creswell.

Senior doubles state qualifiers Audrey Litfin and Jillian Paulson are back for Wheaton Academy.

"We have a strong lineup," said coach Joel Visker. "We want to send as many players to state as possible."

Hinsdale South should boast one of the top teams in Class 2A. The Hornets enjoyed a successful 2021 season with second-place finishes in the West Suburban Conference and sectionals and a 17th-place effort at the state meet.

The Hornets are led by seniors Makena Camden, Edie Mitchell, Avni Verma and Tessa Franks, and juniors Nikki Wu, Gabriella Brukasz and Arya Selvaraj.

Huntley's 18th-year coach Barry Wells is hoping to win a third straight Fox Valley Conference crown and move up a spot in the sectionals. The Red Raiders were second a year ago to Auburn. Senior two-time state qualifier Elaina Hibbeler paces Huntley in 2022.

Also back in the fold are senior Emily Chong and sophomores Kate Burkey, Arianna Patel, Carlie Weishaar and Delaney Stock. Talented freshman Ella Doughty hopes to break into the lineup.

"We graduated top seniors but have good returning players," said Wells. "We have strong depth."

Senior Amy Sletten along with juniors Alle Geiger and Analisa Raffaeli are back for IC Catholic Prep.

"We lost seven of nine players from last season," said coach Mike Pettineo. "We will have to play more consistently and strategically."

Kaneland senior Anelle Dominguez, who missed her entire junior season, qualified for Class 1A state as a sophomore.

The sophomore duo of Brooke Coffman and Gabby Lee helped Naperville North helped to a second-place finish in the DuPage Valley Conference and second in the Class 2A sectionals.

Junior Aaryana Parekh is expected to fill the No. 1 singles spot.

Neuqua Valley returns seniors Hannah Kesterberg, Victoria Yin and Emily Chiou, state qualifiers a year ago.

Also back for the Wildcats are seniors Tanisha Aggarwal, and Kendall Klimek. Neuqua Valley placed 12th in the state a year ago.

Metea Valley is led by senior Alisha Arya, juniors Harsha Gangasani and Sangita Silva, and sophomores Sophia Cahue and Sarlina Saleem.

"We have four returning seniors," said coach Will Rose. "We hope to have a great season."

Rosary returns senior Lauren Audred Paschaud along with juniors Tes Ketterman, Emma Woodford, Laney Runde and Sarah Duvall.

South Elgin returns seniors Naima Davis and Emma Smith along with sophomores Ava Grzeski and Sophia Brito

St. Charles East is led by senior state qualifier Kate Lauger.

"We finished very strong," said East coach Matthew Bulman. "We had tremendous growth as season went on. We have a ton of talent led by Katie."

St. Charles North is paced by junior state qualifier Allie Gizewicz. Seniors Alyssa Joseph, Keira Gallon and Anne Oshana are back for the North Stars. Sean Masoncup's squad was second in the sectional and DuKane Conference in 2021.

St. Francis is led by the senior doubles duo of Madelyn Haden and Elen Ryson, state qualifiers in 1A the last 2 seasons. Also back are seniors Caroline King, Elle Glabs, Bridget Rice and Nina Ossey.

"We want to advance multiple players to state, win conference (Metro Suburban) and win sectional," said coach Tom Castronovo. "We have a lot of experience but we have to slot in new players."

West Aurora, second in the Southwest Prairie a year ago, is led by conference champs juniors Jill Patel and Kelsey Danner. Also back to bolster the Blackhawks are seniors Delaney Bastian and Amber Brown along with junior Mia Malczyk.

Wheaton North, under the guidance of Eric Laird, has a veteran team with seven returning players.

The 2022 Falcons will feature seniors Kitty Noland, Sophia Fadel, Saede Berner and Clara Delzell along with junior Hannah Swanson and sophomores Kaylee Phillips and Stella Tarusha.

"We have good depth from top to bottom," Laird said.

Willowbrook coach Ed Delacruz welcomes back seniors Molly Brennan, Adele Valev and Jasmine Langston.

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