Fox Valley Conference
Crystal Lake Central
Coach: Amanda Schuetzle (first season)
Last year: Fifth at FVC Meet; Seventh at Cary-Grove Sectional
Key returning players: Maddie Fox, jr.; Carley George, sr.; Maddie O'Donnell, sr.; Sarah Massett, jr.; Jenna Lomax, sr.; Anna Marchetti, sr.
Top Newcomers: Jane Johnsey, so.; Devki Brahmbhatt, jr.; Kati Cornelius, jr.
What to expect: The Tigers lose state placers Jillian Wallace and Evelyn Youel to graduation but return state qualifiers Maddie Fox and Carley George in doubles. Schuetzle will look to them as well as O’Donnell and Sarah Massett to lead her team.
Coach: Chuck Lawson ( eighth season)
Last year: Sixth at FVC Meet; Tied for fifth at Antioch Sectional
Key returning players: Racquel Ruiz, sr.; Nikki Tatsuguchi, sr.; Brenda Zador, sr.; Sarah Adornetto, sr.; Yuliya Mykhaylovska, sr.; Michelle May, sr.; Grace Jang, sr.; Melanie Cho, sr.; Kayla Smith, sr.; Rachel Zenner, sr.Top newcomers: Kelsey Litter, jr.; Jessica Kula, so.; Kathrene Tolentino, so.; Lia Boucek, fr.
What to expect: Lawson said his team should be competitive in the FVC this season and all of his players have worked hard over the summer to improve their tennis skills.
Coach: Jill Tomasello (10th season)
Last year: Tied for 10th at FVC Meet; Tied for fifth at Antioch Sectional
Key returning players: Cassie Friedman, sr.; Erin Hendrix, sr.; Kaitlyn Christiansen, sr.
Top newcomers: Emma Krostal, jr.; Charlotte Muehleman, jr.
What to expect: The Knights are in a rebuilding year after losing over half of their lineup to graduation. Tomasello, who has been the coach since the school opened, is hoping for a top seven finish at conference this season.
Coach: Bill Jepsen (second season)
Last year: 13th at FVC Meet; Second at Huntley Sectional
Key returning players: Hannah Hougland, jr.; Julie Schreiner, sr.; Paige Larson, sr.; Stacey Hamman, sr.; Amanda Schulz, sr.; Abby Eischen, sr.; Katelyn Schoedl, sr.;
Hayley Raad, sr.; Summer Bennett, sr.; Jenny Magalit, sr.
Top newcomers: Katelyn Patthana, fr.
What to expect: The Whip-Purs feature two-time state qualifiers Hougland and Schreiner and return nine starting seniors. Jepsen said he will rely on that depth for success this season.
Coach: Jim Benson (second season)
Last year: First at FVC Meet; First at Cary-Grove Sectional
Key returning players: Natalie Favia, sr.; Mikaela McNally, sr.; Annie Timm, so.; Katie Cox, so.; Leenah Alas, sr.; Leah Asen, sr.; Katie Cox, so.; Veronica Jewell, jr.; Shelby Steverson, sr.
Top newcomers: Morgan Priesz, fr.; Jenna VanBosch, jr.
What to expect: Benson’s biggest struggle this year may be getting his lineup set. The Wolves look to be the team to beat in the FVC and return state qualifiers McNally and Favia.
Coach: Jessie Justice (third season)
Last year: Ninth at FVC Meet; Sixth at Cary-Grove Sectional
Key returning players: Hope Brainard, sr.; Karen Evans, sr.; Ana Fedmasu, sr.; Amy Fischbach, sr.
Top newcomers: Brenda flores, sr.; Jessica Meyer, sr.; MacKenzie Smith, sr.; Joanna Tellez, sr.; Viivi Toivola, sr.; Lisa Wretenberg, sr.; Katy Holub, jr.; Cecelia Horne, jr.; Haley Kurzbuch, jr.
What to expect: Fedmasu returns as a two-time state qualifier and Justice will look to her, Fischbach, Evans Smith and Brainard as her team leaders.
Coach: Judy Roller (first season)
Last year: 14th at FVC Meet; Tied for ninth at Cary-Grove Sectional
Key returning players: Cassidy Conliss, sr.; McKenzie Dice, sr.; Leslie Garcia, sr.; Tabitha Jakic, sr.; Sara Keesee, sr.; Kelsey Parlogean, sr.; Anna Gabrielson, jr.; Lulu Nicks, so.Top newcomers: Avery Keesee, jr.;
What to expect: The Thunder have over 30 players out for the team this year. Roller said she has a young, enthusiastic team that is working on their skills to better their games.
Coach: Laurie Bender (second season)
Last year: Fifth at FVC Meet; Seventh at Cary-Grove Sectional
Key returning players: Sanjana Rao, so.; Ali Sturtecky, sr.; Rachel Langner, sr.; Tori Baranowski, jr.; Lauren Betz, jr.; Bobbie Buerer, sr.; Jordyn Ladewig, sr.; Julie Kregel, sr.; Lauren McEvoy, sr.
Top newcomers: Emily Dewey, jr.; Camryn Demkowicz, so.
What to expect: Bender said her team has a lot of good players but no superstars. The Trojans are looking to be competitive and improve as the season progresses.
Crystal Lake South
Coach: Don Nead (19th season)
Last year: Third at FVC Meet; Tied for second at Cary-Grove Sectional
Key returning players: Hannah Rakofsky, so.; Ekta Patel, jr.; Danielle Baietto, sr.; Anusha Subramanian, sr.; Kristina Smithana, sr.
Top newcomers: Holly Rainey, sr.; Hope Sayre, sr.; Alaina Brunetti, sr.; Kaci Crowley, jr.; Katie Fues, jr.; Jamie Flanagan, jr.; Madison Schweitzer, jr.; Cara Braasch, jr.; Rachel Anklam, so.; Alicia Rasmussen, so.
What to expect: Nead said he looks to be competitive in the FVC by capitalizing on his depth.
Coach: Barry Wells (10th season)
Last year: Tied for seventh at FVC Meet; Fourth at Huntley Sectional
Key returning players: Camille Viloria, sr.
Top newcomers: Emma Breen, jr.; Rebecca Fishman, so.; Roshni Bhatt, sr.; Paige Behrens, jr.; Emma Jonen, jr.; Ashley Peto, jr.; Sanjana Sivakumar, jr.; Abi Roeser, so.; Sam Wyslak, so.; Jordan Bremer, Francesca Mannarino
What to expect: The Red Raiders had two consecutive 15-win seasons but lost 10 of 11 starters from last year’s lineup. The frosh/soph team was very successful last season but Wells is expecting it to take some time for his players to adjust to the higher level of competition at varsity.
Coach: Jon Betts (10th season)
Last year: Second at FVC Meet; First at Huntley Sectional
Key returning players: Morgan Vachio, sr.; Sara Elliott, sr.; Hannah Jackowski, sr.; Chloe Moders, sr.; Ashley Kosy, jr.
Top newcomers: Kori Kent, sr.; Caroline Bayer, sr.; Maggie Corbett, jr.; Shelley Seong, jr.; Ivana Mladenovic, jr.; Alexa Azcui, so.; Katie Toomire, so.; Haley Steinkamp, fr.
What to expect: The Golden Eagles return one sectional competitor from last year’s team but Betts said the returning players have put in a great deal of work in the off-season and are looking to compete with the best teams in the area. Kosy is a two-time sectional champion in singles.
Coach: Kyle Funkhouser (eighth season)
Last year: Tied for 10th at FVC Meet; Fifth at Stevenson Sectional
Key returning players: Becky Bove, sr.; Alyssa Das-Weeks, sr.; Sophie Hecht, sr.; Emeris Raquel, sr.; Carol Vo, sr.; Emily Zalewski, sr.
Top newcomers: Erika Breidenbach, jr.; Megan Howerton, jr.; Abbi Wember, jr.; Mae Thode, so.
What to expect: Zalewski takes over at No. 1 singles but the rest of the lineup is a work in progress. Funkhouser said he is curious to see who will step up to fill those spots.
Big Northern Conference
Coach: Rick Bailey (27th season)
Last year: Tied for seventh at FVC Meet; Fourth at Antioch Sectional
Key returning players: Nicole Spears, sr.; Nicole Wochinski, sr.; Shannon Riechers, sr.
Top newcomers: Paige King, so. Rachel Ames, sr.; Samantha McCauley, sr.; Angie Schira, sr.; Brooke Sadowski, sr.; Hannah Dschida, sr.; Zoe Barker, jr.; Daniella McCauley, so.; Alyssa Altobelli, so.; Sophie Gasior, so.
What to expect: The Skyhawks move to the BNC which only has five schools with tennis programs so will rely on competition against many of their former FVC opponents. Bailey said the team is retooling with only three players with significant varsity experience.
Coach: Sonesacksith Siripanya (second season)
Last year: Tied for ninth at Cary-Grove Sectional
Key returning players: Jackie Pulak, sr.; Rebecca Schultz, sr.; Elizabeth Arrigoni, sr.; Sarah VanValkenburg, sr.; Mati Kissack, jr.; Abbie Varble, jr.; Alexyz Sanchez, jr.
Top newcomers: Heinke Freimuth, sr.; Taylor Heinberg, jr.; Petra Soriano, so.; Teagan Splinter, so.
What to expect: The Indians return seven varsity players. Siripanya said he is excited for the season because his players worked extremely hard over the summer.
East Suburban Catholic Conference
Coach: Ginny Larsen (seventh season)
Last year: Fourth at Cary-Grove Sectional
Key returning players: Abby Waters, sr.; Sydney Waters, so.; Ariel Majewski, sr.; Elizabeth Toth, sr.; Taylor Sledz, sr.
Top newcomers: Allie Dobbins, jr.; Alex Shukis, jr.
What to expect: The Hurricanes return 10 seniors and Larsen thinks they can be competitive with that experience. Look for the Waters’ sisters to play some doubles together.
Dundee-Crown team information was not available at press time. The D-C capsule will be added online when available.
Five to Watch
Ashley Kosy Jacobs, jr.
Kosy is a two-time state qualifier and sectional champion with a 4-4 record at state.
Ana Fedmasu Woodstock, sr.
Fedmasu looks to be one of the best singles players in the area. She is a two-time state qualifier.
Hannah Hougland Hampshire, jr.
Hougland comes in with an improved game and could contend for a top spot in the FVC.
Annie Timm Prairie Ridge, jr
Timm won the FVC at No. 3 singles last season but should be ready to face tougher competition this year.
Emily Zalewski McHenry, sr.
Zalewski takes over the top spot for the Warriors after playing at No. 2 and 3 singles the past two years.
--Rob Smith, firstname.lastname@example.org