The Times correspondent David P. Funk ranks the Region's top girls tennis teams at the start of the 2019 season.
The Mustangs aren’t only the top team in the area, they might be the favorite to win a state title. One opposing coach said he’d be “shocked” if they didn’t. Freshman Sanjana Tallamraju is a nationally-ranked player who bumper her talented older sister Shalini to No. 2 singles. The Munster roster is stacked from top to bottom.
Sophomore Rose Pastoret transferred in from Marquette Catholic, where she finished in the final four in the state as an individual last season. AK Flude returns to provide stability at No. 2 singles while Grace Healy and Aleah Ferngren will be a solid doubles team.
The Slicers tied Crown Point atop the Duneland Athletic Conference standings last year at 6-1, then advanced to the regional semifinal. Returning all-DAC senior Alaina Majors is tough and will be LaPorte’s leader.
4. Crown Point
The Bulldogs lost a terrific senior class that included three Indiana High School Tennis Coaches Association all-district players. Emily Rhee and Caroline Johnson are the only returning players, but the Crown Point program is consistently one of the area’s best.
5. Lake Central
The Indians will be led by Danica Mileusnic and Isabella Watts, who provide a one-two punch as good as almost any in the Region. Unfortunately for L.C., the conference and sectional slates are each full of roadblocks.
Hannah Nabhan is gone but the Trojans return a relatively experienced squad that will compete in a strong DAC. Junior Olivia Vesling looks like the No. 1 singles player right now while sophomore Peyton Martinson will likely be No. 2.
7. Kankakee Valley
Aubrey Toppen will play No. 1 singles and coach Steve Ganzeveld believes she’s set up for a big year after going 15-5 between Nos. 1 and 2 last season. Sophomores Taylor Schultz and Toni Daniels are court rats and jump from doubles to singles.
The Whiting Fire Department should schedule a caravan for the Oilers as soon as the sectional dates are announced. Whiting has won seven straight. The best small-school program in the area lost seven seniors, so overcoming inexperience will be key.
Freshman Savannah Cannon will jump right into the No. 1 spot. The Bearcats bring back Anaca Germain at No. 2 singles, Emma Santos at No. 3 singles and Tessa Haldeman and Sydney Eden at No. 1 doubles.
Sophomore Addison Kasch is the likely No. 1 singles player after the departure of both Carla Jewell and Rebecca Meyer. Amanda and Lauren Cicillian return as a doubles team.