Photo: Sammie Schrepferman
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.