Tennis sends frosh/senior duo to State gathering

by Mike Slodki
ST. CHARLES—Call it Jurcenko/Napiorkowski Part Deux.

Much like last year, Kaneland added to its recent stretch of unparalleled school success.

The doubles unit of senior Amelia Napiorkowski and freshman Madi Jurcenko had performed at a high level all season, and was put to the test on Saturday during the St. Charles East Sectional.

With three wins, the duo finished third in the gathering and earned a trip to the IHSA State tennis tournament held in the District 214 area.

The Lady Knights finished tied for fourth as a team with Wheaton Academy after gathering 13 points. Bartlett emerged as sectional titleholder.

Kaneland’s final win came over the St. Charles North duo of Ashley Randazzo and Kate Lesswing, 6-3, 7-6.

Napiorkowski knows what it’s like to head to the elite group, after trekking to the finals a year ago with Madi’s sister Lindsay.

“I was just as excited this time; I probably didn’t show it as much,” Napiorkowski said. “The final match wasn’t as intense, plus last year no one in the school had done it before. We have a lot of motivation, not just as individuals, but as a team.”

Meanwhile, freshman phenom Jurcenko has seen big strides since the pairing was put together.

“I had never really played doubles before this, but we both learned each other’s styles and we figured out how to play and what shots we were good at,” Jurcenko said.

Kaneland’s entry is scheduled for battle with the No. 28 seed in the doubles bracket on Thursday, Oct. 20: Benet Academy’s Mary Beth King and Daniella Reyes at Elk Grove High School.

Photo by Mike Slodki