Tennis

High school girls tennis: 2019 season preview capsules

Cary-Grove's Jazzy Flashing returns the ball during practice Monday.
Cary-Grove's Jazzy Flashing returns the ball during practice Monday.

FOX VALLEY CONFERENCE

Cary-Grove

Coach: Therese Youel (second season)

Last year: 13-5, 6-2 FVC; FVC tournament champions

Top returners: Karina Los, sr.; Alina Krembuszewski, sr.; Kaitlin Warner, sr.; Jazzy Flashing, sr.; Jenna Briggs, sr.; Julia Pietrzyk, sr.; Grace O’Malley, sr.; Olivia Schladt, sr.

Key newcomers: Kate Larry, jr.; Kelsey Seibert, jr.; Sara Greenwald, jr.

Worth noting: The Trojans return eight of 11 starters from a team that won its first FVC tournament title since 1981. All eight of those starters are seniors. … Los and Krembuszewski won the No. 1 doubles title in the FVC tournament and should be a force in doubles if they pair up again. … Warner was highly successful at No. 2 singles and could slot into the No. 1 role this season. ... Gone is 2018 Northwest Herald Girls Tennis Player of the Year Bethany Marshall, who won the FVC No. 1 singles title last year.

Crystal Lake Central

Coach: Cory Osterberg (second season)

Last year: 10-3, 6-2 FVC

Top returners: Kenna Kessler, sr.; Julia Fier, sr.; Haley Steinberg, sr.; Rachel Passapera, sr.; Ellie McGinnis, jr.; Emma Grindstaff, so.

Key newcomers: Haley Benard, jr.; Olivia Johnson, so.

Worth noting: Central lost seven starters from last season’s team. Giselle Lemke, who was a Northwest Herald All-Area Honorable Mention last year, has moved over to the cross country team. … Kessler was a Second-Team All-Area performer last season in doubles. … “We should be a scrappy, competitive team,” Osterberg said.

Crystal Lake South

Coach: Amanda Schuetzle (second season)

Last year: 10-9, 3-5 FVC

Top returners: Hannah Schuetzle, sr.; Sarah Schuetzle, sr.; Anna Chang, jr.; Lizzy Sudbrook, so.

Key newcomers: Christina Lin, so.; Jaden Appelhans, fr.

Worth noting: The Schuetzle sisters were Second-Team All-Area performers last season as juniors. They plan on playing tennis at McHenry County College next year. … Coach Amanda Schuetzle is looking for some newcomers such as Lin and Appelhans to fill out the lineup and complement the more experienced players and “build a cohesive and competitive team.”

Dundee-Crown

Coach: Yuto Tsukida (first season)

Top returners: Alaina Azar, sr.; Dana Howard, sr.; Suzi Thompson, sr.; Lizbeth Tinajero, sr.; Olivia Gard, sr.

Key newcomers: Chanel Ziegler, sr.; Ashley Simon, jr.; Mia McKinney, so.; Charlie McNicholas, so.; Andrea Llavona, fr.

Worth noting: Tsukida takes over as varsity head coach after serving as an assistant coach for the D-C boys program in the spring. He previously served as an assistant coach at Streamwood as well. … “We have a lot of beginners, so our overall goal is to see as much improvement as possible to get these girls ready to compete in our conference,” Tsukida said.

Hampshire

Coach: Dylan Clark (second season)

Last year: 4-10, 2-6 FVC

Top returners: Kaylee Patthana, sr.; Paloma Hamilton, sr.; Shannon Lukaszuk, jr.; Anika Patel, jr.

Key newcomers: Grace Rose, so.; Karolina Ryzka, so.; Clare Hahn, so.; May Kimura, jr.

Worth noting: Though the Whip-Purs had a losing record in 2018, Clark was happy to see the overall number of athletes in the program surpass 50. … Lukaszuk finished fifth at No. 3 singles in the FVC tournament, the Whips’ best performance at the tournament. She returns for her junior season.

Huntley

Coach: Barry Wells (15th season)

Last year: 21-5, 7-1 FVC

Top returners: Ruhi Gulati, so.; Kylie Phommasack, so.; Michelle Barnvos, jr.; Meghan Fenske, sr.

Key newcomers: Elaina Hibbeler, fr.; Sunni Kwon, so.; Kareena Patel, so.; Ela Hontanosas, so.; Dyllan Cash, so.; Talia Duffy, jr.; Annika McNeal, jr.; Alyssa West, sr.

Worth noting: The Red Raiders lost a lot of talent off a team that finished second in the FVC last year during the regular season. … Gulati was a singles state qualifier as a freshman in 2018. She will continue to hold down the No. 1 singles spot in the lineup. … “We will need to have our younger players step up to give us enough depth to compete for the conference title,” Wells said.

Jacobs

Coach: Jon Betts (15th season)

Last year: 16-8, 7-1 FVC; FVC regular season champions

Top returners: Lindsay Cunningham, sr.; Lindsey Taylor, sr.; Tania Vesselinova, sr.; Isha Desai, so.; Kaya Trumbo, so.

Key newcomers: Chloe Siegfort, fr.; Lara Santa-Ines, fr.; Maddie Reicha, so.; Alison Gerhardt, jr.; Sam Seibert, jr.; Lissie Kontos, jr.; Anya Wieczorek, jr.

Worth noting: The Golden Eagles won an FVC regular season title for the fifth straight year in 2018. … Cunningham was a solid No. 1 singles player, though she can play singles and doubles. … Trumbo and Desai were a quality doubles pair as freshmen last season and are expected to play together again. … “With a lot of graduation turnover, we’ll work to find the right lineup to help us compete in the FVC and make a significant return to the state finals,” Betts said. … Freshman Siegfort, who is recovering from a broken leg, comes in as the No. 9-ranked player in Illinois in the class of 2023, according to the Tennis Recruiting Network.

McHenry

Coach: Kyle Funkhouser (13th season)

Top returners: Lani Cox, so.; Magdieliz Diaz, sr.; Sydney Ekeroth, jr.; Alex Fogleman, so.; Jacqueline Mendez, sr.; Bailey Musnicki, sr.; Katrina Neufeld, so.

Key newcomers: Mya Cermak, sr.; Grace Fornwall, sr.; Odessa Garcia, fr.; Brooke Langfeld, jr.; Eileen Zheng, sr.

Worth noting: Due to construction delays, McHenry is practicing and competing all of its matches on the road this fall. The Warriors are currently practicing on three courts at Knox Park in McHenry. … “We have a lot of young players returning that got varsity experience last year,” Funkhouser said. “We are hoping to be more competitive this season.”

Prairie Ridge

Coach: Gina Jasovic (first season)

Top returners: Macy Biggam, sr.; Ela Kusmierz, sr.; Georgie Durrant, sr.

Key newcomers: Caidyn Sylvester, so.; Lillian Manley, so.; Emily Kim, jr.; Grace Kerkbashian, so.

Worth noting: Jasovic will lead the Wolves for the first time this season. She was previously the coach at Marian Central. … Jasovic said she has been incorporating her USTA coaching philosophy to the high school level. … Biggam and Durrant were named All-Area Honorable Mention last year, Biggam in singles and Durrant in doubles.

KISHWAUKEE RIVER CONFERENCE

Johnsburg

Coach: Sean Stochl (first season)

Top returners: Kamile Aleksaite, sr.; Gracie Cittadino, so.; Lauren Hendrixson, sr.;

Key newcomers: Jillian Popovich, so.

Worth noting: Aleksaite was a state qualifier in Class 1A last season with graduated teammate Abbie Cittadino. “She really just pounds it on the serve,” Stochl said. “She’s pretty good at getting at the net and volleying.” … Stochl takes over for former coach Emily Chrisman, who coached the team for one season. Stochl is also the Skyhawks boys tennis coach.

Marengo

Coach: Erika Kane (fifth season)

Last year: 1-9-1

Top returners: Maddy Haas, sr.; Jacqueline Snyder, jr.; Sabrina Rosenquist, sr.

Worth noting: Kane is excited about three returning varsity players in Haas, Snyder and Rosenquist. Marengo hopes “to continue to grow. We want to focus on improving our foundation,” according to Kane.

Woodstock

Coach: Jessie Justice (eighth season)

Last year: 4-11, 2-4 KRC

Top returners: Sarah Caspari, sr.; Ashley Peralta, jr.; Kelsey Perkins, sr.; Grace Cochrane, sr.

Key newcomers: Kelly Fischbach, so.

Worth noting: The Blue Streaks have 34 players in the program this season. Justice said the goal is to finish above .500 in the win-loss column. … The Streaks feature a number of seniors with experience, including Caspari, Perkins and Cochrane.

Woodstock North

Coach: Bart Zadlo (second season)

Last year: 12-8, 6-0 KRC; KRC champions

Top returners: Aly Cullotta, sr.; Sophia Ferru, jr.; Kirsten Morey, sr.; Maggie Thomas, jr.; Kaitlyn Mauck, jr.

Key newcomers: Juliana Conrad, sr.

Worth noting: Cullotta went 3-2 at the Class 1A state finals last year, her second time qualifying in singles and her third trip to state overall. She will once again lead the Thunder from the No. 1 singles spot. … Ferru played in the No. 2 singles spot last year. … “We hope to defend the KRC title for the third year in a row,” Zadlo said. “And send more than one individual to the state tournament.”

EAST SUBURBAN CATHOLIC CONFERENCE

Marian Central

Coach: Lisa Dalton (first season)

Top returners: Carly Hoover, sr.; Megan Dowling, sr.

Worth noting: Dalton takes over coaching duties from Gina Jasovic, who is now the girls tennis coach at Prairie Ridge. … The Hurricanes have 11 seniors on this year’s roster.

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