Scouting Local Illinois Girls Tennis Teams

Scouting Local Illinois Girls Tennis Teams

2013-09-03T18:00:00Z 2014-05-09T18:09:20Z Scouting Local Illinois Girls Tennis Teams nwitimes.com
September 03, 2013 6:00 pm

Crete-Monee

Players to watch: Alex Pisarczyk, Sr.; Jojo Taylor, Sr.; Tatiana Wegrzyn, Jr.; Mad Nalwiko, Jr.

Outlook: No. 1 doubles player Pisarczyk started the year with an injury, but is expected back soon. The Warriors are are not that deep and coach Kelly Place said with many new players, she expects it to be a "learning year." Taylor has stepped into one of the No. 1 doubles spot.

Homewood-Flossmoor

Players to watch: Timara Maxwell, Jr.; Sophia Osabuohein, So., Kaela Mack, So, Brittany Ermon, So, Allison Lessner, Sr.

Outlook: The Vikings lost No. 1 and No. 2 singles players in Faith Huckabee and Adesuwa Osabuohein, but this year's team is deep. Freshman Haleigh Porter is also expected to step in. Maxwell, Sophia Osabuohein, Mack and Ermon have experience. Coach Dan Baron said he hopes his team learned a lesson from last season's postseason disappointment. "We are making necessary adjustments in identifying and accepting our limitations and improving our weaknesses will also take a high priority," Baron said. "I am humble enough to embrace that not only the players need to improve, learn, and continue to grow each year – but coaches as well, as my job is to find ways to make it a fun experience, represent the program with character, and play our best tennis when the time comes. Needless to say, I plan on being a little more 'constructive' on both the team and myself this year to get us where we need to be."

Illiana Christian

Players to watch: Hillary VanDrunen So., Miranda Bouwer, Jr.

Outlook: After seeing a long streak of having state qualifiers snapped last season, Vikings coach Rob Lagerway will hope to get his girls back on track this fall. “It’s honestly a luxury to have some young girls that you can work with early on, and by the time they’re seniors, you really helped to shape the kind of players that they are. Our youth is eventually going to be a big strength for us," Lagerwey said. Illiana is still quite young, especially in the singles department where sophomore Hillary VanDrunen will continue her growth in the No. 1 singles slot. Behind VanDrunen, junior Mirand Bouwer will take the second singles spot, and Lagerway has a plethora of underclassmen to choose from. With so much youth, the long-standing coach is hoping for both success and progress in 2013.

Marian Catholic

Players to watch: Gabby Rosales, Sr., Giselle Beebe, Sr.

Outlook: After seniors Gabby Rosales (sixth in state in singles) and Giselle Beebe (doubles state qualifier), configuring the rest of the Spartans’ lineup will be a challenge for Marian coach Scott Bodnar. Beebe will be making the jump to No. 2 singles this season, but will also see time in doubles competition. With who however is still in question. Bodnar believes he has all the right girls to field another successful team this fall, and he’s going to allow their play to decide who’s going to nab consistent playing time. "We know what we’re going to get from Gabby and Giselle, but now we’re just looking to define our doubles teams and some other things," Bodnar said. "We have plenty girls who can fill spots, it’s just going to come down to who wants to step up."

Thornton Township

Outlook: In her second season, Wildcats coach Imani James again sits atop a team in transition. With a majority of her squad in the early stages of learning and competing in tennis, James is tasked with not only helping her players grow and progress, but also succeed in the early going as well. “It’s all about baby steps right now," James said. "We have a lot of players that were introduced to tennis for the first time last year, so right now, the goal is to improve on our fundamentals and try to win some more matches in the progress. This team does have a lot of potential.” Thornton will be sophomore heavy this fall, which leaves James plenty of time to get the most out of her team, but she knows that there will be speed bumps along the way.

 

T.F. North

Players to watch: Jalissa Eddings, So., Lola Fowowe, Sr., Taylor Barker, Jr., Yvonne Barker, Jr., Angel Townsend, Sr., Taylor Addington, Jr.

Outlook: Experience on the Meteors will be in minimal supply in 2013 after coach Mark McDaniel watched seven seniors from last year’s team graduate. Now, McDaniel is focusing on developing his juniors into successful competitors over the next two seasons, while also giving some younger players an opportunity to step in and shine as well. Despite the lack of senior experience and leadership, McDaniel still believes his squad can manage a .500 season while his players continue to grow fundamentally. "We have two years to put things together with these juniors coming up, and we’re still developing the younger kids too," McDaniel said. "It’s going to take some patience. We’re a team that’s going to go out and work hard and give other teams challenges."

 

T.F. South

Players to watch: Amirah Ali, Sr., Paula Rodriguez, Sr., Bryttish Burts, Jr., Rakya Ali, So., Jeanne Colini, So.

 Outlook: Burts, Amirah Ali, Rodriguez and Rakya Ali return from a team which is believed to have set a program record for wins with 14. Ali was part of a doubles team which qualified for the state meet and Rodriguez was on the Rebels state championship badminton team. State qualifier Burts is expected to be one of the south suburb's top players. Caoch Clinton Scott feels he has a good nucleus to challenge for the South Suburban Blue title and get a few kids to the state meet. "We have that much more experience and I thin last year showed if you work hard, you can have success," Scott said. "Amirah and Paula are our team leaders." Rakya Ali had a good freshman year and exchange student Jeanne Colini is expected to be a plus.

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