No. 1 singles, doubles talents end up in consolation brackets
KANELAND—No matter if you’re seeded or an underdog, the IHSA State tennis competition, housed at District 214 outlets in the northwest suburbs, stands to provide a wallop of a competitive weekend.
It was as advertised for the Kaneland crew on Thursday and Friday.
No. 1 singles competitor Samantha Schrepferman, in her second go-around in State, went five matches, going 3-2.
No. 1 doubles team of Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko, who secured all-State honors a year ago, went 4-2 before a consolation ouster.
Garnering four points each, the two entries helped Kaneland manage a 26th-place tie with eight points at the State tournament.
“Other than Geneva and Oswego East, we finished in a higher place than all of our opponents from throughout our area, so we feel pretty good about the end of the season,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said. “Of course we feel like we could have won a couple more matches, but I think at the end of the day, 26th place feels pretty good.”
Overall, it was Hinsdale Central and Lake Forest with 39 points each at the top of the tennis heap, with Naperville Central’s Tiffany Chen taking the singles title, and Kendall Kirsch and Alexxis Kiven of Stevenson were crowned the doubles queens.
Schrepferman began her tour with a matchup against Edwardsville’s Emily Lombardi out at Hoffman Estates and won a 6-0, 6-1 match. Schrepferman then took on Glenbard West’s Carolyn Maltby in the second round, only to lose a three-set tussle in 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 fashion. Moving to the consolation bracket’s second round, Schrepferman beat Tori Lindsay of O’Fallon in 6-4, 6-3 fashion. Schrepferman then beat Champaign Centennial’s Lauren Neitzel by a score of 6-2, 6-4. In her final task, the junior was upended by Rock Island’s Nicole Tyulpa, 6-2, 6-0.
Emmanouil and Jurcenko began the end of their junior year campaign at Buffalo Grove High School against the Lyons Township team of Samantha Sherman and Megan Hickey in which the Lady Knights were felled in a 7-5, 6-7, 6-2 affair.
Moving to the consolation bracket, the Kaneland duo rattled off four straight wins in a row, all in two sets each. First, the Lady Knights solved Rachel Kaiser and Sara Stremming of Mattoon, 6-0, 6-0. Next, they beat Audrey Angelos and Anna Rossa of Oak Park-River Forest, 6-1, 6-1. The third-round consolation match featured Kaneland’s team taking Peyton Cole and Natalie Odin of Glenwood, 6-1, 6-3. In the fourth-round, Emmanouil and Jurcenko took care of Kelly Ruane and Maggie Ruane of Providence Catholic, 6-4, 6-3 before having their quest ended by the team of Jennifer Gates and Gabriella Gregorio of Bartlett, 6-3, 6-4, in the consolation’s fifth round.
With the conclusion of the 2013 season arrived, the Lady Knights say goodbye to three seniors: Abby Meyer, Kaylee Shoaff and Stephanie Zwick.
“Next year, those three return, and we have three more juniors from our starting lineup returning, as well,” Larsen said. “There are yet a couple more juniors and some talented sophomores that will carry the team on from here. We’re feeling really good about what the team looks like next year. So it’s the part of the year when we say goodbye to our seniors and enjoy the successes we had this season. Come summer, it’ll be time to roll up our sleeves and get back to work.”
Singles entry Schrepferman, doubles tandem Jurcenko/Emmanouil write tickets
AURORA—More of the same has turned out to be a good thing for Kaneland tennis.
Kaneland, based on its second-place team showing at the West Aurora Sectional this past Saturday, will have a State tournament prescence for the fourth straight year.
No. 1 singles player Sammie Schrepferman finished second in the singles category, while Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil took fourth in the doubles category.
The State gathering takes place Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 24-26, with the finals housed at Buffalo Grove High School.
Kaneland tied for second with 16 team points with Waubonsie Valley. Oswego East, with 21 points, took the sectional. West Aurora and Rosary rounded out the top five teams with 14 points apiece.
“I thought our doubles team would at least make the championship, and you have to give credit to Oswego East,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said.
Schrepferman’s second-place showing, and second State qualifying berth, featured a win over Carley Frauenhoff of West Aurora, 6-0, 6-0, a win over Lindsey Schlichting of Yorkville, 6-0, 6-4, a triumph over Sajela Harlow of Oswego East, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), and a championship setback to West Aurora’s Emily Stefancic, 6-2, 6-4.
Schrepferman noted the win over the Yorkville entry got the weekend going for her.
“I’ve played against Lindsay and trained with her, and it was a really hard match,” Schrepferman said. “My nerves are definitely gone this year; I understand what to do.”
“With the doubles, it’s going to be the same gameplan of staying aggressive,” Larsen said. “Hitting the ball hard and seeing what they’re doing strategy-wise. It’s a confidence factor in playing however they want to play.”
On the doubles side, 2012 qualifers Jurcenko and Emmanouil’s tour featured 6-1, 6-2 wins over Poskute and Lee of IMSA, and a 6-0, 6-1 win over Gow and Peabody of Yorkville, before losing to Blackmon and Hwang of Oswego East in 6-3, 6-7, 5-7 fashion and 6-2, 7-5 to Park and Ling of IMSA.
Despite the finish, the duo knew more action was on the horizon this coming week and a berth at State took away whatever sting existed.
“We know everything happens for a reason,” Emmanouil said. “This is a wake-up call. We need to be practicing harder and strategizing even more.”
It stands to be a familiar, exciting go-around for the KHS group.
“Last year at State, it was, ‘Well, we made it, let’s see how well we can do,’” Jurcenko said. “This year, we have an idea and we can actually do pretty well.”
Thursday will see the KHS state-qualifying trio kick off their opening-round action. Schrepferman will play Emily Lombardi of Edwardsville High School at Hoffman Estates High School, while Jurcenko/Emmanouil will battle the Lyons Twp. pair of Samantha Sherman and Medhan Hickey at Buffalo Grove High School.
DIXON, Ill.—Kaneland High School, for a couple of years now, has acclimated itself as a top-tier team on the conference tennis circuit.
After the events of this past Friday and Saturday at Dixon High School, the Lady Knights don’t look to be leaving that tier any time soon.
Head coach Tim Larsen and company, with 35 tournament points, captured the East division and the Northern Illinois Big XII crown, after finishing second in 2012.
Yorkville (28), Morris (24), Sycamore (20) and West leader LaSalle-Peru (18) rounded out the top five overall schools.
Kaneland boasted two conference champs on the doubles end in the form of No. 1 team Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil, along with No. 2 tandem Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz. KHS also took home second place honors in the No. 1 singles with Sammie Schrepferman and No. 3 doubles unit Mallory Dugan and Kaylee Shoaff.
Jurcenko/Emmanouil beat the Davy/Lines team from Morris for the top prize in a 7-5, 7-5 bout. Kaneland’s team earned a finals berth after beating Cavanaugh/Bradish of Ottawa, 6-2, 6-0.
The Landers/Karolewicz crew bested Yorkville’s challenge of Peabody/Gow in a 6-4, 6-1 affair.
“These two played their best tennis of the season and were in control of every match they played. Great serves, great groundstrokes, great net play, and great reactions to their opponents’ strategies. (I’m) very happy for them and proud of their efforts this weekend,” Larsen said.
Schrepferman beat her Geneseo opponent 6-2, 6-2 before losing to heralded foe Angelina Ye of Sycamore in the finals, 6-1, 6-0.
“Sammie played a great match. She took a lot of points from Ye and forced Ye into hitting the ball long a lot, but Ye was at the top of her game and Sammie couldn’t hold her off. (I’m) still very proud of Sammie for how well she played,” Larsen said.
Dugan/Shoaff beat Ottawa’s team of Paves and Weitzel in three sets before losing to Yorkville’s Gorey and Megazzini in 6-3, 6-1 fashion.
Tuesday’s regular season finale against IMSA was rained out.
Kaneland now deals with the sectional field at West Aurora High School on Saturday, Oct. 19, with Yorkville the only other NIB-12 to join the group. courtesy photo
Junior Jelly Emmanoui (right). Photos by Patti Wilk
KANELAND—With conference meets and sectional tournaments on the horizon, it’s getting to be crunch time for Kaneland High School girls tennis.
Madi Jurenko, one-half of the Knights’ undefeated standout junior doubles team along with her partner, Jelly Emmanouil, has already fielded inquiries from friends at Kaneland wanting to know how the pair—which achieved all-state status last fall—will fare if they make a return trip downstate.
“We’re definitely getting a lot of questions,” Jurenko said. “ ‘Oh, are you going to win state?’”
Knights coach Tim Larsen said the sky’s the limit as far as Jurenko and Emmanouli’s potential, but even though they own a 23-0 record as of Wednesday, crowning them state champions is a bit premature.
“It wouldn’t be wise to set a goal as state champions,” he said. “There’s a lot of talent around the state, but it’s safe to say they could be competitive with anybody they play (against).”
Jurenko and Emmanouli boosted their record past the 20-victory plateau last weekend by going 3-0 at the Geneva Invitational. The duo also was undefeated last season prior to the conference and sectional meets, suffering its first loss in the sectional semifinals. Jurenko and Emmanouli went on to win the third-place sectional match, and then posted a 4-2 record at state.
Not bad for a team that hadn’t played together at all before last year.
As a freshman in 2011, Jurenko teamed up with senior Amelia Napiorkowski, and they ended up advancing to the state tourney. Following Napiorkowski’s graduation, however, Jurenko and Emmanouli teamed up. It took some getting used to for Emmanouli to adjust to doubles play because Jurenko explained that her new partner had never really played much doubles.
But one would have assumed they had been playing together for quite a while by season’s end.
“We complement each other, and we move well on the court,” Jurenko said. “We talk to each other, and we’re good friends. I’m really good at the baseline hitting groundstrokes. Jelly has a really good wingspan and is good at hitting volleys. And she’s taller than me, so it works pretty well.”
“There’s a bond with doubles players that’s really not like anything else you see in sports,” Larsen said. “The first year, neither one of them knew what to expect, but they had a lot of respect for each; both knew that the other one was a good tennis player. It took a while to catch on with a rhythm as a team, as far as constructing a point; that didn’t happen right away. But at this point, they’ve been on court so long together that you see them reacting to the ball together. It’s something special at this point. They’re two very, very special players.”
Larsen said Jurenko and Emmanouli also are master strategists during a match—an intangible that will particularly benefit them should they return to state.
“Their biggest strength is their ability to adjust their strategy as the match progresses,” Larsen said. “These girls can hit every shot that they need. They have the ability to be smart on the tennis court, not emotional. We’re going to go out and try to win points for the next three weeks, and hopefully it works out well. That’s the goal.”
Girls tennis isn’t divided into classes like nearly every other IHSA sport. Everyone is on equal footing at the state tournament, regardless of the size of a particular school. Jurenko and Emmanouli could be thrown into the mix against teams from perennial state powers such as Hinsdale Central, Lake Forest, Deerfield and New Trier, each of which easily doubles Kaneland’s enrollment.
“It’s intimidating to know these schools have state winners and have good programs,” Jurenko said. “We don’t sell ourselves short, but we know it’s going to be a tough match. We just go into it with an open mind. We definitely want to do even better (at state) than last year. We’re going to have to work really hard, but we want to try and accomplish more at state this year and win more matches.”
The same dynamics will hold true for Sammie Schrepferman, the Knights’ No. 1 singles player who also is seeking a return trip to state. Schrepferman is putting together quite a season herself, with an overall record that stands at 21-2 prior to the start of this week.
“At this point of season I’m playing better than I did last year,” she said. “I’m able to control my emotions. I’m more focused on my play, instead of opponents dictating play to me.”
The only two blemishes on Schrepferman’s record are losses to Geneva’s Kirby Einek, who defeated her 6-4, 6-1 on Saturday, and to Angela Ye of Sycamore.
“They’re very consistent and aggressive players,” Larsen said. “When she plays against somebody that she knows is a very, very good tennis player, Sammie steps up and plays a great match. It’s fun tennis to watch. Sammie doesn’t like to lose, and I don’t either, but I’m proud of how she plays in those matches.
“Sammie hits the ball well and is serving the ball very hard, which is such a good weapon for her,” Larsen added. “The big issue for Sammie is measuring up her opponent, how much pace you need to generate, where you need to place the ball. It’s like she struggles with herself and she gets frustrated, but she always ends up landing on her feet. There are a ton of things she can do to win a point (with her shots). She figures it out, but the struggle is figuring it out.”
Schrepferman lost both of her state matches in 2012, and of course wants to return to state to better her showing of a year ago.
“Last year it was more nerves for me than anything,” she said. “I expect to be more calm if I make it to state and just go play. I should not go in expecting things, just fight for every point. Everyone (at state) is there for a reason because they won their spots (at sectionals).”
Photo: Julia Golbeck competes at Geneva with doubles partner Maddy Michels (not pictured). The Lady Knights tennis team went 1-2 at the Geneva Quad on Saturday. Photo by Patti Wilk
Tennis competes at Geneva Quad, Mendota, vs. Ottawa
KANELAND—At 12-4, the Kaneland High School tennis outfit is still going strong, with room left over to perfect its game.
After meets against Wheaton Academy and IMSA were rained out, the Lady Knights made their way to the Geneva Quad on Saturday and went 1-2. On Monday, the Lady Knights went to Mendota and won a 3-2 dual. Tuesday saw a home matchup with Northern Illinois Big XII crossover opponent Ottawa, where it was a 7-0 sweep of the Lady Pirates.
In the Geneva setting, the Lady Knights lost to Geneva 7-1, despite a win from doubles team Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil. KHS also lost to St. Charles East 6-2, despite another Jurcenko/Emmanouil win and a Sammie Schrepferman win in singles action. Kaneland rallied to beat St. Charles North 4-3, with Jurcenko/Emmanouil, Schrepferman, Stephanie Zwick and the Kaylee Shoaff/Mallory Dugan team all victorious.
Wins over the Mendota Lady Trojans were secured by Schrepferman (6-1, 6-1) and Zwick (6-1, 6-0) at the singles spots, and Shoaff and Dugan at the No. 2 doubles slot (6-1, 6-1).
A tightly contested battle provided some room for improvement in the coming days for Kaneland, particularly on the doubles end.
“I think our girls got frustrated with the other team’s resiliency and tightened up a bit,” Larsen said. “Maybe it was the long bus ride, maybe it was just a Monday thing. But we’ll be correcting some issues that we encountered this week at practice before this weekend’s tournament, for sure.”
Schrepferman, Zwick and Emily Lutter all took the singles bouts in two sets, while two-set wins on the doubles edge were completed by Jurcenko/Emmanouil and the No. 2 team of Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz.
Friday and Saturday, Oct. 11-12, yields the annual Northern Illinois Big XII conference meet out at Dixon High School.
Photo: Tim Larsen’s Kaneland High School tennis squad poses for a photo after winning the Rochelle Invite Saturday. Courtesy Photo
Lady Knights take care of business on both ends on NIB-12
KANELAND—The remaining six landscapes better brace for Kaneland tennis.
The 9-2 (5-0 Northern Illinois Big XII) squad coached by Tim Larsen ran through visiting LaSalle-Peru last Thursday, 4-1, and headed off to Yorkville on Tuesday in a battle of undefeated conference teams, coming away with a 4-1 win.
In between, the team headed to the Rochelle Invitational on Saturday and took first.
The Lady Knights haven’t lost a conference match since Sept. 12, against Sycamore.
In the final home matchup of the 2013 campaign, the Lady Knights took care of the visiting Lady Cavs. Kaneland split the singles action, with junior Sammie Schrepferman sweeping Ali Kutz in the No. 1 singles battle, 6-0, 6-0.
The traditionally strong doubles side of the net did well in LaSalle County, beginning the No. 1 team of juniors Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil, 6-0, 6-0. No. 2 team of juniors Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz won 6-0, 6-1, and the No. 3 team of seniors Stephanie Zwick and Kaylee Shoaff won a 6-3, 6-1 tussle.
At the Hubs-hosted Rochelle Invite, the Lady Knights cut a victorious path in Ogle County, going 19-1 overall. Schrepferman went 4-0 in singles play, while the doubles section went undefeated, as well.
No. 1 singles, and all three doubles entries, played to victory against Yorkville, including the Jurcenko/Emmanouil team.
Schrepferman won 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 over a strong Lindsey Schlichting, while Jurcenko/Emmanouil won 6-0, 6-0.
“They were decent players, definitely, but I knew we could win,” Jurcenko said. “They have a really strong team and a lot of depth, so I knew it’d be a struggle for our team, but I knew we could do it.”
Emmanouil feels the duo is playing at a high level.
“Definitely as a team, we’re playing really well right now. All of our shots are really crisp, and I feel like our game is at its peak,” Emmanouil said.
Larsen was looking forward to the conference battle.
“I was nervous the whole afternoon. We got behind in several matches and we had to make a move. All you can do is tell the girls the shots they need to make. They hit enough of them,” Larsen said.
Kaneland was set to trek to West Chicago to face Wheaton Academy on Thursday, Oct. 3, and to meet with IMSA in Aurora on Friday. Oct. 4.
Photo: Madi Jurcenko, part of Kaneland’s No. 1 doubles team with Jelly Emmanouil, defeated their Oswego opponents Monday 6-0, 6-2. Photo by Kimberly Anderson
KANELAND—Not all competitive matches will go your way. Just ask the roster of Kaneland tennis.
Despite performing admirably in dual action this season at 7-2 (3-0 Northern Illinois Big XII), the Lady Knights found themselves on the short end of a 4-3 narrow loss to the Southwest Prairie Conference staple Oswego Lady Panthers on Monday in Maple Park, but saw success by winning the Yorkville Quad on Saturday.
A matchup on Sept. 18 against Ottawa was cancelled due to inclement weather.
To begin against Oswego, it was junior No. 1 singles entry Sammie Schrepferman winning her match in 7-5, 6-2 fashion. No. 2 junior teammate Colleen Landers was toppled by a 6-4, 6-1 margin, and No. 3 junior singles rep Stephanie Karolewicz lost a 7-5, 6-3 matchup.
On the traditionally strong doubles side for Kaneland, it was No. 1 powerhouse team Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko winning their match 6-0, 6-2. No. 2 team Kaylee Shoaff and Stephanie Zwick were victors by 6-2, 4-6, 10-8 fashion. No. 3 team Mallory Dugan and Anna Wendling took a 7-5, 1-6, 14-0 loss, while No. 4 tandem of sophomores Brittany Zablocki and Emily Mirocha were bounced 6-2, 2-3, 7-4.
The week was a bit of a departure from the usual Shoaff and Dugan pairing, but KHS coach Tim Larsen has been pleased with their contributions in 2013.
“When the lineup put itself together at the start of the season, they were the two with the talent and experience necessary for the spot,” Larsen said. “The thing they have in common is that they love to compete and are very resourceful with shot selection. Great hands at the net, and very good at keeping the ball in play.”
In the Yorkville Quad featuring doubles action, first places were had by Emmanouil/Jurcenko, Schrepferman/Dugan, Landers/Karolweicz and Zwick/Shoaff.
On Tuesday against Morris, the tennis crew defeated the visitors 4-1. KHS swept the doubles matches, while Schrepferman handled her Morris counterpart 6-1, 6-0.
Upcoming action for Kaneland features the third in a three-match home swing against LaSalle-Peru on Thursday, Sept. 26, and the Saturday, Sept. 28, Rochelle Invitational.
Tennis endures first loss of dual slate, but bests Sycamore
KANELAND—While win after win is nice, the odds of a long, continuous stretch of them are hard to come by in a competitive landscape.
Kaneland began with four dual wins in a row, and looked good against rival Sycamore this week, but fell to Aurora mainstay Rosary on Monday.
On Tuesday, Kaneland traveled to Ogle County for another chance at a Northern Illinois Big XII win in Rochelle and swept the Hubs 5-0.
KHS is now 6-1, with a (2-0) mark in NIB-12 play.
The Thursday matchup with the Lady Spartans ended in a 3-2 victory for the Lady Knights. While Sammie Schrepferman and Stephanie Zwick suffered losses in singles play, it was the doubles side that helped rally the effort.
The No. 1 doubles tandem of Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko won a 6-0, 6-0 sweep, and the No. 2 side of Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz took a 6-1, 6-0 match. No. 3 doubles unit Kaylee Shoaff and Mallory Dugan won a 6-4, 7-6 match to secure the team win.
Against Rosary in the 4-3 loss, Schrepferman earned the lone singles win with a 6-2, 6-1 decision, the Emmanouil/Jurcenko team won a 6-0, 6-0 clash and the Shoaff/Dugan team won 7-5, 6-1.
At Rochelle Tuesday, KHS swept all matches, with singles Schrepferman (6-0, 6-0) and Zwick (6-4, 6-2) and doubles Emmanouil/Jurcenko (6-0, 6-1), Karolwicz/Landers (6-2, 6-0) and Shoaff/Dugan (6-1, 6-0) all notching wins.
KHS coach Tim Larsen feels the Lady Knights can’t be in the business of overlooking anyone.
“There’s no room in this sport for taking anything lightly. We’re just trying to get ready for each opponent right now. (We) lost a close match to Rosary (Monday) and we feel like we left a lot of points out on the courts, so our next few practices will have a very fine focus on the shots we’re not executing as well as we should.”
Kaneland was scheduled to host crossover opponent Ottawa on Wednesday, and head to the usual late September Yorkville Quad stop on Saturday, Sept. 21.
KANELAND—Coach Tim Larsen’s tennis team has to love its hot start, even though some matches have been cancelled due to the heat.
Sitting at 4-0 after a dual win at Plainfield North Saturday, the Lady Knights had a dual at IMSA canceled due to the heat Tuesday.
Against the Tigers, Kaneland swept the match 6-0.
“Plainfield North ended up being a dual meet,” Larsen said. “We got rained out of an eight-team tournament the weekend before, (Plainfield North) and us were the only two teams with an opening, so we just turned it into a dual meet.”
In singles action, No. 1 Sammie Schrepferman won 6-4, 6-0, while No. 2 Stephanie Zwick won 6-1, 6-3.
In doubles, No. 1 Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil swept their match 6-1, 6-1, as did No. 3 tandem Kaylee Shoaff and Mallory Dugan 6-1, 6-3.
No. 2 doubles pair Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz battled their way to a three-set win after falling behind in the first set 2-6. A 6-3, 7-5 sets two and three earned them a hard-fought win.
The No. 4 doubles duo of Brittany Zablocki and Katie Blazynski played a close three-set match, winning 7-6, 6-7, 10-6.
Larsen was pleased with the way his doubles teams earned their victories.
“It was closer than it looks on paper,” he said. “(Plainfield North Coach Lauren Madawick) has good young talent at No.1 singles and No. 1 doubles. No. 2 doubles pushed our girls just about to the limit in that third set—we came from behind in that match for sure, and No. 4 doubles was neck and neck the entire match.”
The Lady Knights next host NIB-12 rival Sycamore today at 4 p.m., and then host Rosary Monday at 4 p.m.
KANELAND—Despite the usual late-August stop at Plainfield North getting shelved due to rain, the Lady Knights tennis squad was still able to show what it was made of in the early goings of 2013.
The DuPage Valley Conference representative Glenbard North Lady Panthers fell victim to the visiting Lady Knights on Thursday by a 5-2 mark in head-to-head action.
The Lady Knights’ record sits at 3-0 after a trip to DeKalb on Tuesday.
Against the Carol Stream, Ill. residents, the Kaneland contingent saw strong performances from both the singles and doubles ends.
At No. 1 singles, junior Sammie Schrepferman swept her match 6-0, 6-0, while senior Stephanie Zwick took a 6-4, 6-3 battle at No. 2 singles.
On the doubles front, Kaneland was paced by the No. 1 junior tandem of Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil in a 6-1, 6-1 sweep. No. 2 entries juniors Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz won their bout 6-3, 6-3, and No. 3 duo senior Kaylee Shoaff and junior Mallory Dugan took their match, 6-1, 6-3.
KHS coach Tim Larsen was eager as anyone to see what the lineup on paper would translate to.
“I have four very solid varsity players in Colleen Landers, Stephanie Karolewicz, Stephanie Zwick and Kaylee Shoaff. All four got varsity experience last year, and we’re still rearranging the No. 2 singles, No. 3 singles (when we need it), and No. 2 doubles spots. It’s a nice problem to have, but you want to make sure you get the right players in the best possible situations,” Larsen said.
Against DeKalb, the Lady Knights earned singles wins from Schrepferman (6-1, 6-0), Zwick (6-2, 6-4) and No. 3 Anna Wendling (6-0, 6-1).
In doubles action, Jurcenko/Emmanouil dispatched their opponents 6-2, 6-0, while Landers/Karolewicz won 6-0, 6-0, and Shoaff/ Dugan won 6-1, 6-0.
Kaneland gets back to the net on Tuesday, Sept. 10, in Aurora at Illinois Math and Science Academy.
Photo: Returning singles state qualifier Sammie Schrepferman (right), here in action against West Chicago Tuesday, is joined by returning state doubles qualifiers Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil to lead a strong group for coach Tim Larsen. Photo by Kimberly Anderson
All State entries return for tennis crew
KANELAND—Certain expectations are now in the midst of the Kaneland tennis program.
The hard work put into the matches have paid off for the Lady Knights and sixth-year coach Tim Larsen, with State entries the last three seasons.
A 9-3 dual mark and a top-two finish in the Northern Illinois Big XII landscape the last two seasons have the KHS unit feeling good and productive.
Juniors Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil return as State entries in the No. 1 doubles side, while State singles competitor Sammie Schrepferman makes her return as a No. 1 singles entry.
Jurcenko and Emmanouil brought early success and enough of it to solidify their names in KHS tennis lore.
“First girls All-State team for us, it was a breakthrough,” Larsen said. “They’ll go down in history. We’ve had Lindsay Jurcenko, Amelia Napiorkowski and Sammie all make it to State in recent years, and it’s been very exciting for us.”
The upward mobility of the team brings an edge to the landscape.
“The surrounding team has improved tremendously with their work ethic and speed, and they come with experience,” Larsen said.
Schrepferman was a gamble as a freshman for the top spot two years ago and that has paid off for Larsen and Co.
“She is a warrior, and she knows when she’s playing well and not playing well. She’s in a fight on the court,” Larsen said.
The singles and doubles entries are fluid in the early goings of the season, with juniors Colleen Landers and Stephanie Zwick being penciled in for the singles and fellow junior Stephanie Karolewicz also seeing time. Mallory Dugan and Anna Wendling could be put into spots that solidify as the season goes on.
“They’ve put in solid practices,” Larsen said.
The complete roster has seniors Abby Meyer, Kaylee Shoaff joining Zwick. Remaining juniors are Julia Golbeck, Madi Michaels, Jessica Poust, along with sophomores Heather Albrecht, Katelyn Blaszynski, Emily Lutter, Ally McPhee, Marissa Michi, Emily Mirocha, Courtney Pree and Brittany Zablocki. Freshmen are Jessie Bowgren, Mary Collum, Kayla Corirossi, Lauren Karolewicz, Katrina McKnew, Abby Purnell, Marley Schultz, Kristen Siebert and Liz Towell.
The conference set-up has tilted toward the Lady Knights, with Larsen aware of the task at hand.
“We have to be ready. Morris returns a No. 1 doubles, and Sycamore has a No. 1 singles that’s always good, and Yorkville does, too,” Larsen said. “We have to put in a solid effort and be consistent.”
Next up for the team is a trip to Glenbard North tonight at 4:30 p.m., and a tournament Saturday at Plainfield North which begins at 8 a.m.
vs. West Chicago—On Tuesday, the Lady Knights opened their season at home against the visiting West Chicago Wildcats, winning 6-1.
Winners included No. 1 singles Sammie Schrepferman (6-1, 6-0 over Shannon McCarthy) and No. 3 singles Stephanie Karolewicz (6-0, 6-1 over Edith Munoz), and all doubles pairings: No. 1 Doubles Madi Jurcenko/Jelly Emmanouil (6-0, 6-0), No. 2 Stephanie Zwick/Kayee Shoaff (6-1, 6-1), No. 3 Mallory Dugan/ Anna Wendling (6-3, 6-3) and No. 4 Jessica Poust/ Mandi Michaels (6-3, 0-6, 10-8).
at West Chicago—The JV tennis squad swept a match at at West Chicago Monday 7-0. In singles action, No. 1 Emily Lutter won 6-0, 6-0; No. 2 Brittany Zablocki won 6-1, 6-0; and No. 3 Marley Schultz won 6-0, 6-0. In doubles, No. 1 pair Katie Blaszynski and Emily Mirocha won 6-1, 6-2; No. 2 Heather Albrecht and Ally McPhee won 6-0, 6-2; No. 3 Lauren Karolewicz and Marissa Michi won 6-0, 6-0; and No. 4 Kayla Corirossi and Abby Purnell won 6-0, 6-0.
vs. Rochelle—Matt Yonkovich led all golfers with a 38 at the Knights won 161-175 over visiting Rochelle at Hughes Creek Golf Club Tuesday. Stephen Cannell shot a 40 for KHS, while CJ Wehrmann shot a 41 and both Brody Kuhar and Jesse Denton shot 42.
at Geneva Invite—Kaneland traveled to the Geneva Invite Aug. 22, placing 9th out of 21 teams with 318 points. Yonkovich shot a 74, and Denton shot a 79 to lead the Knights.
Results from Saturday’s Limestone Invite were not available by press time.
vs. Rochelle—Freshman Brett Glennon was the top scorer with a 39 as the Knights Fr/So golf squad won easily over visiting Rochelle by a score of 165 to 230. Fellow freshmen Jake Hed shot a 39, and Dan Frank and Jeff VanGemert shot 43 a piece. Sophomore Luke Calabrese and freshman Drew Diffendal contributed 44’s.
by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—Hits just keep on coming for the celebrated tennis duo from Kaneland.
That’s continuing with the volleys and smashes they sent at opponents in 2012.
The State-qualifying duo of Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil were voted in as All-State players the last week of October, by virtue of their performance at the IHSA State Tournament in the northwest suburbs. A letter was mailed to Kaneland High School with the information last week, according to KHS coach Tim Larsen.
It’s the first All-State honor for KHS in tennis.
Going 4-2 in the final tournament, two-time State qualifier Jurcenko and Emmanouil were undefeated in regular season doubles play. The output allowed a top-24 standing at the final competition. The duo had previously nabbed the No. 1 doubles mantle at the Northern Illinois Big XII gathering at DeKalb High School.
No. 1 singles player Sammie Schreperman had also qualified for State.
“Reflecting on Madi and Jelly, I think if anything, that state tournament completely refocused them for next year,” Larsen said. “We had set goals of getting there and winning a match or two. By exceeding expectations to the extent that we did, two things have happened. First, we’ll always think about that weekend with a great, sentimental feeling. It is filled with fun, thrilling, and positive moments. Even though we lost our last match, we took away so many good things that the tournament was a great experience for all of us. Secondly, and more to the point of future seasons, we found out what we’re capable of.”
2 entries represent Lady Knights program proudly by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—No State medals were garnered, but the two separate Lady Knight entries that made the trip to the IHSA State meet at various northwest suburban tennis courts acclimated themselves well.
Kaneland High School had two entries head to State competition for the first time in school history, and was represented by No. 1 singles entry Sammie Schrepferman and No. 1 doubles tandem, Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko.
Keisha Clousing of Wheaton-Warrenville South ultimately won the singles group, but Schrepferman had already made history by being the first Lady Knight singles player in history to make it to the late October dance.
The sophomore lost her two matches on Thursday, first to Adesuwa Osabuohien of Homewood-Flossmoor in a 6-1, 6-1 match, and finally to Oswego East athlete Jaiere Harlow by a tally of 6-4, 7-5 in the consolation bracket.
For the third year in a row, the Lady Knights had a Jurcenko in the State tourney, and the Emmanouil/Jurcenko crew beat Grace Alexander and Sam Diemer of Boylan Catholic High School by a final of 6-4, 6-0 in the opening round on Thursday.
The second round saw Kaneland’s duo beat the Whitney Young team of Syedah Cabell and Kendall Scruggs in a 7-6, 6-3 match.
The action picked up on Saturday after rain delays at Palatine High School, and the KHS duo took yet another match in the fourth round over Rachel and Rebecca Lewis of Danville by a final of 5-7, 7-6, 6-3.
The fifth round had Emmanouil and Jurcenko take a match over the Glenbrook South team of Martina Dragoytchev and Jessica Chepurda in an 8-5 single-setter, assuring a claim of a top-24 team.
The Lady Knight unit saw its season come to an end with a loss to New Trier’s Kirstie Woodbury and Cammy Frei by an 8-3 final that would have sent Kaneland’s team to a top-16 berth.
KHS coach Tim Larsen was glad that the talent on paper translated to actual court time.
“The girls and I knew that we had talent on the team, but didn’t know what we were capable of in the State tournament,” Larsen said. “Now we know. Having done that well as sophomores isn’t going to be a ‘finish line’ mentality at all. I can tell you for sure that Sammie has seen what it takes to have success in that tournament, and she will be more determined than ever to do so next year. And for Madi and Jelly, they surpassed their own goals for this year’s tournament. That was because the tournament was still somewhat of an unknown to us. Next year, we’ll be able to set challenging, realistic goals because of this year’s experience.”
With the end of the productive season, Kaneland tennis says goodbye to seniors Jenna Bicos, Sara Grams, Aly Harner, Brooke Harner, Cara Lenhardt, Danielle McCormack, Abby Meyer and Jessica Woodward.
Schrepferman, Emmanouil, Jurcenko set school record by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—St. Charles East High School was the site of Saturday’s IHSA Tennis Sectional, and also the site of some happy Lady Knight athletes.
No. 1 singles competitor Sammie Schrepferman became the first-ever singles qualifier in KHS history with a fourth-place finish at the sectional. No. 1 doubles unit Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko finished third to qualify for the big dance.
This marks the third consecutive year Kaneland tennis sends athletes to state.
In 2010, Lindsay Jurcenko and Amelia Napiorkowski qualified as a doubles team, and Napiorkowski did the same with Madi Jurcenko in 2011.
As a team, Kaneland finished fifth with 13 points in the 10-team sectional.
KHS coach Tim Larsen knew his crew had the intangibles to cause a racket.
“They reacted well to whatever was going on on the court,” Larsen said. “All three of them are smart tennis players. They have a lot of talent, and they have a lot of really good shots.”
Bartlett (20), Geneva (17), St. Charles East (14) and Wheaton Academy (14) were the only schools that outpaced KHS.
Schrepferman earned a first-round bye, and earned straight set wins in her first two matches before losing the third to Jennifer Gates of Bartlett. In the battle for third place, the sophomore dropped a 6-2, 6-1 match to Geneva’s Kirby Einck.
“At the beginning of the year, I didn’t think I was going to be able to make it,” Schrepferman said. “I started off the year a little bumpy. It was the middle of the year where I told myself to keep going and if I wanted to go I had to push myself harder.”
Emmanouil/Jurcenko swept their first two matches before getting taken to three sets in a loss to Bartlett’s Jitsupa Sirinit and Gabby Gregorio.
The Lady Knight duo recovered to take third place from Saints duo Haydyn Jones and Kelsie Roberton.
“We had a pretty good seed in the beginning,” Emmanouil said. “We were pretty comfortable the first two matches and then up against Bartlett, it was pretty tough.”
Jurcenko feels that the gameplan shouldn’t change that much headed into the elite gathering.
“The main goal is to make it to State. It would be awesome to win. You kind of just go and see how you do,” Jurcenko said.”
The finals take place from Thursday, Oct. 18, to Saturday, Oct. 20. Tournament central is located at Buffalo Grove High School.
Photo: Senior Jessica Woodward serves against Morris during the NIB XII Tennis Tournament in DeKalb on Friday. Photo by John DiDonna
No. 1 doubles outplays field; Lady Knights finish 2nd to Sycamore by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—If Lady Knights tennis keeps this current level of play up, they’ll be seeing good things come their way in the homestretch of 2012.
While the group wasn’t able to duplicate the 2011 conference title showing, it still managed to show off enough for a second-place showing at the Northern Illinois Big XII gathering held at DeKalb High School Friday and Saturday.
Sycamore’s lineup had a conference-winning 53 points, after finishing second behind Kaneland a year ago, while KHS scored 51 points. Sterling had 42 points to take the West.
KHS had one NIB-12 champ to boast of in the form of No. 1 doubles juggernaut Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil, while Sammie Schrepferman took second in the No. 1 singles scrum.
A year ago, it was Jurcenko and graduate Amelia Napiorkowski that seized the No. 1 doubles category while Emmanouil won the No. 2 singles crown.
“(Saturday) was a lot harder in the cold,” Emmanouil said. “But it was just about getting warmed up and then we played a little better.”
Emmanouil and Jurcenko are among the girls getting used to only a high level of play the last couple of years.
“I would say we are as good as the last couple years. Lindsay’s (Madi’s sister) and Amelia’s senior years were good. We definitely are as good as those teams right now I think,” Jurcenko said.
Kaneland battles the competition in St. Charles out at St. Charles East High School on Saturday, Oct. 13. Jurcenko and Napiorkowski were State qualifiers a year ago as a freshman/senior duo.
Photo: Kaneland’s Jessica Woodward watches her return shot during the varsity girls match against Mendota on Monday. Photo by John DiDonna
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—If only every week could be as successful as this one for Kaneland High School tennis.
The Lady Knights battled non-conference opponent Mendota while hosting Senior Night and came away with a 6-1 dual win to improve to 11-3 on the season.
Kaneland also battled five other teams in the Geneva Quad and garnered a second place.
Against the Lady Trojans, it was the top two singles entries with victories in the form of sophomore Sammie Schrepferman and senior Sarah Grams.
Schrepferman won her match in 8-1 fashion, while Grams won her bout by an 8-0 score.
On a Senior Night where the group of four-year players were celebrated with gifts and speeches, Grams got down to business as best she could.
“I just try to keep the ball in play,” Grams said. “Moving it back and forth with my backhand and forehand, and if I had to chance to move up to the net, that’s what I’d try to do.”
No. 1 doubles unit Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil won their match by an 8-1 tally, and No. 2 doubles team Jenna Bicos and Jess Woodward did their part to celebrate their own Senior Night with an 8-4 win.
Brooke Harner and Aly Harner won their No. 3 doubles duel, as did Danielle McCormack and Abby Meyer in the extra match.
Kaneland did quite well for itself at the Geneva Quad, finishing second behind only St. Charles East.
Kaneland outlasted Geneva, Wheaton Academy, St. Charles North and Bartlett.
Kaneland finishes a suspended dual meet at Oswego on Thursday, Oct. 4.
Colleen Landers prepares to serve against Yorkville during the varsity home match on Tuesday. Photo by John DiDonna
KHS racketeers sweep the Rochelle Quad field by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Once the end of the school week hits, many a student would just like to take a breather.
Kaneland High School tennis would just rather take opponents’ breath away.
Just seven days removed from trouncing the field at the Yorkville Quad, the Lady Knights, under coach Tim Larsen, did the same to four other teams at another Northern Illinois Big XII hangout in the Rochelle Quad on Saturday.
The Lady Knights swept the rankings, achieving first place in both singles and all three doubles categories, getting the full-tilt 25 points.
Freeport went second overall with 16 points, while DeKalb went third with 13 points. The host Lady Hubs took fourth with 12 points, and Sterling Newman went fifth with nine points.
With a 6-4, 6-4 win over Freeport’s Nikki Church, Lady Knight sophomore Sammie Schrepferman took first overall in the No.1 singles category.
Kaneland’s Sarah Grams nabbed the spotlight on the No. 2 singles court and won the day with a 6-2, 6-2 decision over Rochelle’s Brittany Sanderson.
The three Lady Knight doubles teams owned the day, going a combined 12-0.
Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko were tops in the No. 1 doubles, while teammates Jenna Bicos and Jess Woodward secured the No. 2 doubles crown, and the Colleen Landers/ Stephanie Karolewicz tandem broke through in the No. 3 set.
“It was windy, cold and wet when we got there,” Larsen said. “(A) rough day to be out in the elements, but not so bad when you win that many matches.”
Tuesday’s action saw Kaneland send visiting Yorkville High School home with a 4-1 loss. Kaneland posted wins in all doubles action, as well as the No. 1 singles bracket.
Schrepferman battled her opponent at the top singles spot after breezing through the first set 6-0. She dropped the second set 6-4, before flipping the scores to win set three 6-4, securing the victory.
Jurcenko and Emmanouil took their No. 1 doubles match in straight sets, 6-1, 6-0. Bicos and Woodward followed with a 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 2 doubles. Landers and Karol completed the doubles’ sweep with a 6-3, 6-1 win.
“(This was) another good conference win,” Larsen said.
The JV team fell to Yorkville, 3-2.
The Lady Knights meet up at old familiar stomping grounds for the Geneva Quad on Saturday, Sept. 29.