Category Archives: Tennis

KHS tennis trio heads to State

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.

KHS tennis solidifies upper-tier status in NIB-12

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.

The nine-team sectional also features Sycamore.

Tennis bests Senior Night with flourish

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.

Taking care of business

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.

Clean sweep: Kaneland trumps Ottawa on court

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It was a lucky 7 for KHS tennis last week.

On Sept. 12, the Lady Knights took care of the next Northern Illinois Big XII crossover opponent in the form of Ottawa, and left with a 7-0 sweep of their Lady Pirate foes.

Kaneland also defeated Ottawa in Maple Park last season by one match.

With Kaneland’s win over Morris on Tuesday, combined with a partial rain-out of the Lady Knights-vs-Oswego match earlier in the week, Kaneland’s dual mark is now 9-3.

Against Ottawa, No. 1 singles entry Sammie Schrepferman took charge against her opponent Maya Sakakibara, by a 6-1, 6-0 tally.

Moving back into singles action for the dual was No. 2 player Colleen Landers, who won over Carly Haywood 7-6, 6-2. Stephanie Karolewicz won her No. 3 battle over Symone Stewart, 6-1, 6-0.

Over in the doubles crowd, it was the reliable tandem of Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Kayla Guenther and Molly Angell.

Jess Woodward and partner Sarah Grams took the No. 2 doubles win with a 6-2, 6-7, 6-3 result over Maria Cavanaugh and Bailey Bradish, and Kaylee Shoaff and Stephanie Zwick won the No. 3 match with a 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 flair.

Also contributing to the cause was the team of Aly and Brooke Harner, who took a 6-3, 7-5 win in the extra match.

“This match was much closer than it looked,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said. “They have some pretty good players. I’m pleased to say that our girls executed the shots we needed today.”

The JV crew also took care of Ottawa in a 4-1 decision.

On Tuesday, Kaneland swept out Morris with a 5-0 victory.

Schrepferman won in a perfect 6-0, 6-0 match. Senior Sarah Grams won at No. 2 singles, 6-2, 6-2. Doubles action saw Jurcenko and Emmanouil win 6-2, 6-2 at the No. 1 spot. Jessica Woodward and Jennifer Bicos battled at No. 2 doubles for a 6-2, 4-6, 6-2 win. Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz teamed up for a 6-2, 6-0 win at No. 3 doubles.

Kaneland varsity tennis gets ready for the Rochelle Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 22, the same meet that saw a first-place nod a year ago.

Back to the win column

Photo: Kaneland’s Stephanie Zwick keeps her eyes on the ball during the varsity girl’s home match against Rochelle on Tuesday. Photo by John DiDonna

Tennis rebounds with wins over Rosary, Rochelle
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—A win over a Sycamore Spartans tennis squad is often a lot to ask.

Such was the case for the Lady Knights tennis crew on Thursday along Route 23.

After managing to exorcise demons left over from an unexpected loss to IMSA earlier last week, the Lady Knights were able to secure a convincing win after a trip to LaSalle-Peru High School for an East-West crossover battle on Sept. 5.

Additional action saw KHS beat Rosary in Aurora by a 5-2 final, while Rochelle was defeated by host KHS on Tuesday in a 6-0 final.

Kaneland’s tally in dual action sits at 7-3.

The Lady Knights were slightly better, at 8-2, after 10 meets in 2011.

On the Sycamore grounds, KHS lost by a score of 3-2. After getting swept on the singles side, doubles victories came via No. 1 team Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil in a 6-2, 6-1 encounter, followed by senior leaders Jenna Bicos and Jess Woodward at the No. 2 slots, 7-5, 7-6.

KHS coach Tim Larsen and crew tried to power through the setback.

“We lost to Sycamore and then had a really hard practice and switched the lineup a little bit,” Larsen said. “It was to try to get out of a couple of ruts, but there’s no question at the top of our lineup we’re playing really well.”

The JV troops managed a 4-1 win over their Spartan counterparts.

The day before, L-P was handled in a 5-0 manner. Top singles entry Sammie Schrepferman took a 6-1, 6-1 outing, while Colleen Landers won her No. 2 action with a 7-6, 2-6, 11-9 barn-burner.

Jurcenko/Emmanouil won a straight 6-1, 6-2 meeting. The Bicos/Woodward unit took a three-set win, 6-2, 2-6, 10-4. Capping the wins were Sarah Grams and Aly Harner, winning the No. 3 clash with a 6-1, 6-3 showing.

Meanwhile, the JV entries got the best of their Lady Cav counterparts, 5-0.

Against Rosary, Kaneland sported a rearranged lineup and saw two-set wins from Schrepferman, new No. 2 Stephanie Zwick and a three-set victory from Grams at the No. 3 spot.

Jurceno/Emmanouil and Landers/Stephanie Karolewicz (No. 3) took home wins.

In the Lady Knights-Lady Hubs duel on Tuesday in Maple Park, the home team saw wins from Schrepferman (6-0, 6-0) and Zwick in three sets.

Schrepferman feels that she has stood racket to racket with some formidable competition in 2012.

“I feel like I’m playing a lot better from last year,” Schrepferman said. “When it’s not going well, it’s usually unforced errors on my part.”

On the horizon for Kaneland is a trip to Yorkville on Saturday, Sept. 15.

Lady Knights successfully court win vs. DeKalb

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—With a lineup firmly in place, there’s no telling what Kaneland’s tennis squad is capable of.

Just ask them, or visiting DeKalb.

The Lady Knights took it to their Northern Illinois Big XII sisters in dual action on Thursday by a final clip of 4-1.

Following Tuesday’s loss to IMSA, Kaneland’s mark is now 4-2 through six head-to-head battles.

Sophomore Sammie Schrepferman continues to impress and handled herself accordingly in a No. 1 singles win, 6-1, 6-0, over DeKalb’s Taylor Volk.

It was the doubles category that gave Kaneland the lengths it needed for victory.

Sophs Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil won their match in a 6-0, 6-0 sweep, and seniors Jenna Bicos and Jess Woodward took the No. 2 doubles match in a 6-1, 6-2 affair. Capping the victory was the senior No. 3 duo of Sarah Grams and Aly Harner and their 6-2, 6-2 win.

“I’m proud of all the girls today—every one of them,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said. “(They) all hit great shots and represented Kaneland well today.”

The Lady Knights dropped a 5-2 Tuesday match with IMSA, garnering wins at No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles.

“This is a tough loss,” Larsen said. “We could have won four matches for sure.”

Schrepferman came through with a 6-2, 6-1 win in singles play. Jurcenko and Emmanouil rebounded from a first set to come through 2-6, 6-2, 7-4.

“That No. 1 doubles match was fantastic, with four outstanding players,” Larsen said. “Madi (Jurcenko) and Jelly (Emmanouil) showed some serious resolve in that match.”

The JV unit also fell to IMSA on Tuesday, 6-1. The lone victory came at No. 3 singles with Shreya Jain winning in straight sets, 6-2, 6-4.

Ahead for Kaneland tennis is a NIB-12 trip to rival Sycamore on Thursday, Sept. 6.

Tennis overcomes early bump

Photo: The Kaneland varsity girls tennis team is off to a good start this year. Here, Senior Aly Harner serves during their home match against Belvidere on Aug. 23, which Kaneland won 4-3. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—A win last week at West Chicago had Kaneland tennis on a smooth track early.

That was until the Lady Knights met up with Wheaton Academy on Aug. 22 in Maple Park.

A 5-2 dual loss was then overcome on Thursday in a 4-3 squeaker against the visiting Blue Thunder of Belvidere North.

Kaneland now has a 3-1 record in dual play, as the schedule gets busier.

In the 5-2 loss to the Lady Warriors, the lone wins were handled by No. 1 singles entry Sammie Schrepferman in a 7-5, one-set affair, and by No. 1 doubles tandem Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko in a 6-0, 6-0 sweep.

Wheaton Academy also bested Kaneland JV action.

Against Belvidere North, singles wins were gathered by Schrepferman, 6-4, 6-3, and by No. 3 star Stephanie Zwick, who held her counterpart at bay, 6-1, 4-6, 6-1, after Kaneland had already lost three matches.

Emmanouil and Jucenko took their match, 6-2, 6-0, while extra duo Colleen Landers and Kaylee Shoaff won the final match, 6-3, 6-1.

“Madi and Jelly played very good tennis and beat a couple of really good players,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said. “Sammie struggled but kept her composure for a good win. The hero of the day was Stephanie Zwick.”

Monday’s action saw the Lady Knights sweep Glenbard North in a 7-0 home victory, with every match going Kaneland’s way in straight sets.

Schrepferman cruised to a No. 1 singles victory, 6-2, 6-0. Steph Karolewicz earner her first varsity win of the season, 6-1, 6-2. Zwick completed the singles side of the sweep with a 6-4, 6-3 win from the No. 3 spot.

In doubles action, Jurcenko and Emmanouil breezed through a 6-1, 6-0 match. Jennifer Bicos and Jessica Woodward battled for a tough straight-set victory, 6-3, 7-5. Colleen Landers and Sarah Grams earned a 6-2, 6-1 win, and Abby Meyer and Kaylee Shoaff completed the sweep with a 6-2, 7-6 win.

Tuesday’s contest hosting DeKalb High School was rescheduled for Thursday, Aug. 30, and the Lady Knights will take on IMSA at home on Tuesday, Sept. 4.

Tennis Preview: Eyes on the prize

Photo: Last year was an impressive season for KHS tennis. The Lady Knights return to defend their conference crown. File Photo

Defending conference champs aim to continue winning ways
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—It’s an exciting time to be involved in Kaneland tennis, whether you are a player or a parent, a fan or a friend.

Imagine what it’s like for coach Tim Larsen.

Larsen wants to build off of a second consecutive season in which the Lady Knights had a presence at the state level, and now the team has reached a level in which his players consistently expect to win.

“It’s definitely exciting,” Larsen said. “The approach to practice has felt different. Our JV coach (Dominic Bruno) is in his third year, and I feel a lot more comfortable having him deal more with the younger players. That allows me to deal with varsity and make adjustments to their game.”

With Kaneland capturing the Northern Illinois Big XII mantle last season, adjustments might not need to be very significant.

One adjustment that needs to be made is replacing a capable Class of 2011 core, featuring Stephanie Rosenwinkel, Madi Limbrick and two-time State goer Amelia Napiorkowski.

Napiorkowski took care of business at the last two sectionals, pairing up with Lindsay Jurcenko in 2010 and current sophomore Limbrick in 2011.

“Losing Amelia is big. She was a competitive force and set a great example,” Larsen said.

Larsen intends to sync Jurcenko with last year’s No. 2 singles conference champ and fellow sophomore Jenny Emmanouil for the top doubles spot.

“They are very excited to play together. They are kind of making their own story. Immediately, it’s different than what other doubles teams have done,” Larsen said.

The only other cemented pairing is the second doubles spot, with Jenna Bicos and Jessica Woodward serving as a tandem once again.

On the singles side, sophomore Sammie Schrepferman takes the reins.

“Last year, I really had no choice to put her at the No. 1 spot, she was playing so well. She did really well with the experience,” Larsen said.

The other singles entries are sophomore Colleen Landers at No. 2, and Stephanie Karolewicz at No. 3.

Larsen thinks the lineup has it in themselves to do big things, which has been the norm as of late for the program.

“I trust the kids. The game is not bigger than them, they just need to keep their focus on the opponent,” Larsen said.

With a couple meets already under their belt this past week, Kaneland hosts Belvidere North on Thursday, Aug. 23.

Lady Knights start with win
Kaneland kicked off its season with a 5-1 victory over West Chicago on Monday.

“Good start for Kaneland,” Larsen said. “Very happy to start with a win.”

Schrepferman took the No.1 singles match in straight sets, 6-0, 6-2. Landers dropped her match at No. 2 singles, 6-0, 6-3, but Zwick returned the Lady Knights to the win column with a three-set battle, 6-1, 4-6, 7-4.

In doubles action, No. 1 doubles team Jurcenko and Emmanouil, as well as No. 2 doubles team Bicos and Woodward, each won their matches by identical 6-0, 6-1 scores.

The No. 3 doubles match went to three sets, with Grams and Aly Harner earning a 6-2, 6-7, 7-1 victory.

While Larsen and his team are happy with the win, he said there remains room for improvement.

“We did uncover a decent list of things to work on, so we’ll be practicing hard tomorrow (Tuesday),” he said. “But all in all, a very good start.”

The JV team fared even better against West Chicago, sweeping its opponent away 6-0.

Varsity roster
Seniors
Jennifer Bicos Sarah Grams
Brooke Harner Aly Harner
Cara Lenhardt Abby Meyer
Danielle McCormack
Jessica Woodward
Juniors
Kaylee Shoaff
Sophomores
Angelica Emmanouil
Madison Jurcenko
Stephanie Karolewicz
Colleen Landers
Samantha Schrepferman
Stephanie Zwick
Head coach
Tim Larsen


Last year, varsity tennis coach Tim Larsen said, ‘There’s an awful lot of hustle in the varsity lineup and not a whole lot of quit.’ File Photo

Varsity Tennis Schedule
• Monday, Aug. 20; 4:30 p.m.
At West Chicago HS
• Wednesday, Aug. 22; 4:30 p.m.
Home vs. Wheaton Academy
• Thursday, Aug. 23; 4:30 p.m.
Home vs. Belvidere North HS
• Saturday, Aug. 25; 8 a.m.
At Plainfield North Invite
• Monday, Aug. 27; 4:30 p.m.
Home vs. Glenbard North HS
• Tuesday, Aug. 28; 4:30 p.m.
Home vs. DeKalb HS
• Tuesday, Sept. 4; 4:30 p.m.
Home vs. IMSA
• Wednesday, Sept. 5; 4:30 p.m.
At LaSalle Peru HS
• Thursday, Sept. 6; 4:30 p.m.
At Sycamore High School
• Monday, Sept. 10; 4:30 p.m.
At Rosary High School
• 4:30 p.m.Tuesday, Sept. 11
Home vs. Rochelle Twp HS
• Wednesday, Sept. 12; 4:30 p.m.
At Ottawa Twp HS
• Saturday, Sept. 15; 8 a.m.
At Yorkville Quad
• Monday, Sept. 17; 4:30 p.m.
At Oswego High School
• Tuesday, Sept. 18; 4:30 p.m.
At Morris High School
• Saturday, Sept. 22; 8:30 a.m.
At Rochelle Invite
• Tuesday, Sept. 25; 4:30 p.m.
Home vs. Yorkville HS
• Saturday, Sept. 29; 8 a.m.
At Geneva Quad
• Monday, Oct. 1; 4:30 p.m.
Home vs. Mendota Twp HS
• Friday, Oct. 5; 1 p.m.
At DeKalb
NIB XII Varsity Tennis Tourney
• Saturday, Oct. 6; 8 a.m.
At DeKalb
NIB XII Varsity Tennis Tourney

KHS invites fans to witness the ‘Knights Under the Lights’

Kaneland—The Kaneland High School fall sports teams will be introduced to their fans on Thursday, Aug. 16, at 6 p.m.

The annual Knights Under the Lights event will be held at the various KHS athletic facilities. In addition to individual and team introductions, fans can watch the KHS volleyball, tennis, soccer and football teams scrimmage.

Sports Booster members will be on hand selling concessions, and while there is no admission to attend, the Boosters do ask for a donation to assist the athletics programs.

KHS fall athletes recognized with awards

KANELAND—Kaneland High School athletics released their slate of Fall Sports Awards, with each sport trumpeting the best it had to offer, with some All-Northern Illinois Big XII honors thrown in for good measure.

In golf, All-NIB-12 went to Troy Krueger and Matt Yonkovich. Co-Varsity MVP’s were Brody Kuhar and Yonkovich. Connor Williams won the varsity most improved player award. On the frosh/soph roster, Stephen Cannell took the MVP, and Jacob Sheehan won the most improved player award.

For volleyball, All-NIB-12 nods went to Katy Dudzinski and conference MVP Kylie Siebert.

Dudzinski was named top offensive player while Siebert was named top defensive player.

Most improved player went to Rachael Clinton, and the Spirit award went to Lauren Banbury. Dudzinski and Siebert took home the team MVP awards.

In Kaneland tennis, Stephanie Rosenwinkel, Amelia Napiorkowski and Kelly Kovacic were recognized as captains. Mallory Dugan and Stephanie Karolewicz were named most improved. Kovacic and Colleen Landers took the team spirit awards. Outstanding achievement awards went to Jelly Emmnouil for a perfect regular season, Madi Jurcenko for a school record 33 wins, and the doubles tandem of Jurcenko and Napiorkowski for a record of 32-3. All-NIB-12 members were Napiorkowski, Jurcenko, Emmanouil and Sammie Schrepferman, and those four were also named team MVP’s.

For girls cross country, Victoria Clinton was honored for All-State totals, as well as being a State qualifier with teammates Maggie Brundige, Abby Dodis, Aislinn Lodwig, Amanda Lesak, Sydney Strang and Ashley Castellanos.

Lesak, Dodis, Lodwig, Brundige and Clinton were named to the All-NIB-12 team. Dodis, Brundige and Carolina Tovar were recognized as captains. Most improved runners were Dodis and Brundige, while Clinton was named as Most Valuable Runner, capping an exceptional freshman campaign.

For boys cross country, Kyle Carter, John Meisinger, Brandon Huber, Miki Marin, Conor Johnson, Luis Acosta, Clayton Brundige and Nate Rehkopf were recognized as State qualifiers, while Huber, Carter and Meisinger made the All-NIB-12 team.

The Golden Knight Awards went to freshman Andrew Lesak, sophomore Nathanie Kucera, junior Meisinger and senior Rehkopf. Rehkopf, Brundige and Marin were recognized as captains. Huber took the most improved runner nod. Brundige won the Larry Eddington Award for Courage, Leadership and Strength. Carter was named most valuable runner.

For the State semifinalist football squad, Quinn Buschbacher was recognized for his IHSCA All-State accomplishment, and Jacob Razo was credited with an IHSCA Honorable Mention. Alex Snyder, Drew David, Blake Bradford and Ben Kovalick were named to the IHSCA Academic All-State team.

Snyder, Nick Sharp, Buschbacher, Sean Carter, David, Ryan Noel, Kovalick, Razo, Kory Harner, Ryan Lawrence and Bradford were named to the All-NIB-12 team.

Special teams MVP was Matt Roriguez, while Buschbacher was offensive MVP and Razo was named defensive MVP.

Most improved player was Brandon Stahl, captains were Kovalick, Noel, Buschbacher, Razo and Carter, while Sean Carter walked away with the MVP award.

For the regional finalist soccer team, Alex Gil and Anthony Parillo were named to the All-Sectional team, while Jordan Escobedo, Gil, Parillo and Alec Koczka made the All-NIB-12 team. Pedro Perez and Tyler Siebert were honorable mention candidates.

Gil was named player of the year, with Escobedo taking the offensive player of the year and Sam Rymarz named the defensive player of the year.

The Coach’s Award went to Siebert, Koczka, Jason Biddle and Chris Van Dinther. Gil, Escobedo and Parillo were recognized as captains.

Rookie of the year went to Arsim Azemi. Thansi Pesmajoglou was named most improved player and Gil and Parillo took the team MVP.

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

NIB-12 crown makes smashing time for KHS

Napiorkowski, Jurcenko, Emmanouil take top honors
ROCHELLE, Ill.—What better way to approach postseason play than a great showing at conference?

With coach Tim Larsen’s rotation performing at a consistent and reliable level much of the year, the level of surprise only rises so high after KHS captured the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference title with a 34-point showing on Friday and Saturday at Rochelle.

Not only did Kaneland win its East Division group by 12 points over runner-up Sycamore, they also outlasted West Division topper Ottawa by seven points.

Kaneland now can boast two 2011 conference champs for tennis as No. 1 doubles unit Amelia Napiorkowski and Madi Jurcenko beat Dixon’s selection in the final by a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 count. Additionally, Jelly Emmanouil took the No. 2 singles crown with 7-5, 6-1 win over Brooke Hendricks of Sterling.

The Lady Knights also came away with two second-place finishes as No. 1 singles entry Sammie Schrepferman and the No. 3 doubles team of Madi Limbrick and Stephanie Rosenwinkel found themselves on the finals court.

This Saturday, Oct. 15, brings the IHSA Sectional to St. Charles East High School, with Kaneland looking to get a State invite for the second straight season. Napiorkowski and Lindsay Jurcenko made it to State in 2010, becoming the first Kaneland representatives to do so.

Tennis’ trajectory still skyward

Photo: The tennis team honored their seniors Sept. 29 after their match with Sterling was cancelled. Photo by Mary Herra

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—This has been an impressive season for KHS tennis by any stretch of the imagination.

The 13-2 dual record has been made more impressive by the Lady Knights powering through the sometimes inclement weather, which has infringed on practice time at points.

Kaneland took care of business in Mendota, Ill., against the Lady Trojans on Monday, and also beat the Hampshire Lady Whip-Purs on Sept. 28 along Big Timber Road.

A 6-1 dual win over Mendota featured two singles wins and a doubles sweep.

“I was nervous about playing today,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said. “With last week’s weather, we haven’t had much practice time. We looked a little rusty, but we held it together.”

Sammi Schrepferman took a 6-3, 6-3 win in No. 1 singles action, and Jelly Emmanouil took her No. 2 singles encounter 6-1, 6-2.

The No. 1 doubles tandem of Madi Jurcenko and Maddy McMullen (subbing for Amelia Napiorkowski) took a 6-1, 6-1 sweep, and the Jenna Bicos/Jess Woodward.

Shortened matches against Hampshire still produced a convincing sweep of the hosts, with Emmanouil earning an 8-0 win, and Schrepferman continuing to win in an 8-3 affair.

“We’re winning a lot and for me, it builds confidence,” Schrepferman said. “Playing No.1 has made me a better player and try to work harder.”

Napiorkowski/Jurcenko, Bicos/Woodward and Madi Limbrick/Steph Rosenwinkel all came away with victories.

The Lady Knights see the regular season end on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 7 and 8, with the Northern Illinois Big XII meet at Rochelle High School.

Lady Knights tennis snags first at Rochelle Invite

KANELAND—In a lighter week for Kaneland High School tennis, the Lady Knights’ action still carried quite a bit of weight.

Traveling to Rochelle for the host school’s invite, the Lady Knights came away with a first-place total of 24 points, compared to second-place Freeport’s 21.

Samantha Schrepferman went 4-0 on her way to a first in the No. 1 singles bracket, while Jelly Emmanouil went undefeated in No. 2 singles. The No.1 doubles tandem of Amelia Napiorkowski and Madi Jurcenko went 3-1 and took first, while the No. 2 doubles unit of Jenna Bicos and Jess Woodward took a second place at 3-1.

Kaneland’s 11: Tennis stacking wins

Photo: Madi Jurcenko (left) has become a main component in the formula for success concerning Kaneland tennis, sitting at 11-2. Photo by Madeline Cole

KANELAND—Close counts in tennis.

While the Lady Knights barely edged their opponents, every point mattered and the Kaneland crew now rides a six-match win streak.

The 11-2 Lady Knights look back on wins over host Yorkville, 3-2 on Tuesday, 4-3 over visiting Oswego on Monday and 3-2 over the invading Ottawa Pirates on Thursday.

Against the Lady Foxes, the Lady Knights saw Jelly Emmanouil take a 6-0, 6-0 sweep in the No. 2 singles matchup. The Amelia Napiorkowski/Madi Jurcenko No. 1 doubles team won 6-2, 6-0, while Madi Limbrick and Steph Rosenwinkel won their No. 3 match 6-2, 6-0.

Emmanouil also won her tussle against Oswego in a 6-3, 6-0 match. Napiorkowski and Jurcenko, plus Jenna Bicos and Jess Woodward came away with wins in No. 1/No. 3 doubles.

Against Ottawa, Emmanouil, Napiorkowski/Jurcenko, and Limbrick/Rosenwinkel took it to last year’s conference champs.

Limbrick/Rosenwinkel needed a 9-7 tiebreaker in a 6-4, 0-6, 7-6 win.

The Lady Knights take on the field at the Rochelle Invite on Saturday, Sept. 24.

Tennis now 7-2 after streak

KANELAND—Was the loss of a week ago to IMSA a blessing in disguise for Kaneland High School tennis?

The Lady Knights were too busy rattling off three dual punchouts in a row to consider the question.

Monday featured KHS (7-2) knocking over Rosary for the first time in coach Tim Larsen’s tenure. The prior Thursday had KHS going to Rochelle and taking the day, while Sept. 7 had another sweep, this of LaSalle-Peru out on the Kaneland courts.

In the 5-2 win over the Royals, the three singles entries of Sammie Schrepferman, Jelly Emmanouil and Maddy McMullen won their matches, while the Amelia Napiorkowski/Madi Jurcenko (6-4, 7-5) and Madi Limbrick/Stephanie Rosenwinkel tandems took doubles matchups.

In the 5-0 sweep of the Lady Hubs, Schrepferman took a straight 6-0, 6-0 win, while Emmanouil took a 6-0, 6-1 win in the No. 2 singles clash.

Against the Lady Cavaliers, the singles matches went Kaneland’s way in the 5-0 sweep, while No. 2 doubles team Jenna Bicos and Jess Woodward pulled out a 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 win.

KHS tennis edged in Tuesday match

Photo: Sarah Grams battles on the court during Tuesday’s dual loss to IMSA in Aurora. Grams is trying to solidify Kaneland’s No. 3 singles slot. Photo by Mary Herra

AURORA—On a sunny and cool afternoon in Aurora, the Lady Knights tennis crew saw their fortunes cool for a bit—a result of a 4-3 dual loss to Illinois Math and Science Academy.

The setback brings Kaneland down to 4-2 in head-to-heads.

The 4-3 loss had bright spots, however.

The lone singles win came as a result of Angelica Emmanouil’s 6-2, 6-2 victory over Emily Ling.

Kaneland did find doubles success, as well. The No. 1 threat of Madi Jurcenko and Amelia Napiorkowski took a 6-4, 6-0 win. No. 2 double unit Jenna Bicos and Jess Woodward came away with a 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 win.

The tennis squad tries to hold court with Northern Illinois Big XII foe Rochelle in Ogle County on Thursday, Sept. 8.

Familiar faces and new blood buoy tennis

1st at Plainfield N. invite, wins over GN., Marengo highlight week
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—In so many words, what coach Tim Larsen likes about his 2011 crop of tennis players is they “get after it,” in so many words.

“We had two freshmen that had experience and were varsity ready when they got here,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said. “I feel like I don’t have to do the teaching as in years past. There’s an awful lot of hustle in the varsity lineup and not a whole lot of quit.”

No point was too distant for the Lady Knights, and they parlayed that into a productive week.

On Aug. 24, the Lady Knights lost to Wheaton Academy 3-2 in a dual in West Chicago. KHS regained its swing in a 3-2 win over Marengo on Thursday.

On Saturday, the Lady Knights solved six other teams enroute to a first-place finish at the annual Plainfield North Invite.

On Monday, Kaneland traveled to Carol Stream to stomp the Glenbard North Panthers by a 5-2 dual final.

The win over the Lady Indians featured wins by No. 1 singles entry Samantha Schrepferman (6-1, 6-0), and No. 2 singles counterpart Angelica Emmanouil (6-1, 6-2).

No. 1 doubles tandem Madi Jurcenko and Amelia Napiorkowski took a 6-1, 6-4 matchup for the doubles duke.

At the home of the Tigers off of 248th Street, in Plainfield, Napiorkowski and Jurcenko nabbed first in No. 1 doubles, as did Emmanouil in the No. 2 singles spot, and the No. 3 doubles team.

For Napiorkowski, the pressure is there for the State entry of a year ago.

“There is a lot of pressure to not only do as good as last year, but better. I obviously want to do more,” Napiorkowski said.

Jurcenko’s older sister Lindsay was doubles partners at State with Napiorkowski.

“(Lindsay) mostly played singles, so this is kind of different,” Jurcenko said. “But she said to keep your partner up and give them praise because if they’re down, it’s going to affect you, too.”

Againsrt Glenbard North, Schrepferman, Emmanouil, No. 3 singles entry Maddy McMullen, and the Napiorkowski/Jurcenko combo took wins.

On Tuesday, Kaneland beat visiting Sycamore in conference action, 4-1. The singles matches and the No.1 and No. 3 doubles matchups all went Kaneland’s way.

The surging Lady Knights take on IMSA on Tuesday, Sept. 6, in Aurora.

Tennis wants to recapture last season

Photo: Madi Limbrick is set for a big year, her third on varsity tennis. Photo by Mike Slodki

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Fourth-year Lady Knights tennis coach Tim Larsen finds himself in a unique spot.

For the first time, Kaneland comes off a season a year ago in which it had a state presence. Kaneland also finished 8-6-1 in dual tussles, and finished second in the Northern Illinois Big XII East division.

Everyone was a true wild card when slotted into the depth charts, and it might even be more of a shootout for the singles and doubles spots, according to Larsen.

“There’s a lot of enthusiasm, and a lot of concern about where to put these girls,” Larsen said. “We have a lot of talent and a lot of new girls, including very talented freshmen.”

But girls that achieved success a year ago, like seniors Amelia Napiorkowski and Madi Limbrick, bring a track record.

Napiorkowski’s success during the regular season was on the singles front, but went to State as a doubles tandem with Class of 2011 member Lindsay Jurcenko.

“(Lindsay) played with a lot of heart, and the other girls saw her play hard and took a cue from it,” Larsen said.

Napiorkowski is projected for a No. 1 doubles slot with Lindsay’s younger sister, Madi, a freshman.

“Madi is playing really well, and I think the time Amelia spent playing with Lindsay was fantastic for her and for us as a team. Amelia has really shown up to practice as a leader on the court,” Larsen said.

Limbrick, projected for double, brings experience and improvement in both singles and doubles matches.

“We’ve been scrambling to find any experience at all the last two season, and Madi brings a lot and she’s seen an awful lot. I’m looking forward to watching her play,” Larsen said.

In singles action, freshman Samantha Schrepferman and Angelica Emmanouil could make an impact.

Larsen knows its a long season ahead, but feels whatever combination goes out there, they’ll carry fighting spirit.

“Last year, whenever our girls would be down a set, it’s as if they played harder, and it’s about finding another gear when you think you might lose the match,” Larsen said.

The tennis campaign volleys on Tuesday, Aug. 23, in West Chicago against Wheaton Academy. NIB-12 play begins the following Tuesday against Sycamore.

Kaneland’s Road to Fall begins shortly

KANELAND—Kaneland High School released its Fall Sports signup information last week.

•You must have a current physical on file in order to try out to practice. There will be no exceptions. Physicals are good for one calendar year.

• A participation fee of $100 per sport, $100 per season for cheerleaders (please indicate season on check), and $100 for pompons per season.

The Kaneland High School Athletic Department will host a mandatory preseason meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 17, at 7 p.m. for fall athletes. One or both parents are required to attend a meeting with their athlete in order to meet Kaneland High School’s eligibility requirements. Parents and students will meet with their fall coaches. The second part of the mandatory meeting will be available on the Kaneland website by Aug. 1, as a podcast that fall parents and students must listen to by Saturday, Aug. 27.

FOOTBALL—Equipment handed out on Monday, Aug. 8, from 5 to 6 p.m. Football insurance is available, or parents may sign a waiver and use their own medical insurance.
Practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 10. All levels must meet in the East Gym at 7:30 a.m. Practice for lower levels will be from 8 to 10:30 a.m. and 1 to 3 p.m. Lower levels should bring their lunch. Practice for varsity is 8 to 10:30 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. Meetings will take place at 2:15 p.m.

VOLLEYBALL—Tryouts are Aug. 10 through Aug. 12 for all levels from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Bring a water bottle and light snack. Activity will take place in the East Gym. Varsity conditioning is from 3 to 5 p.m.

TENNIS—Tryouts begin on Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 9 to 11 a.m. at the tennis courts behind the high school.

GOLF—Meeting takes place on Monday, Aug. 8, at 8 a.m., in room C114. Players will not golf at this time, but will turn in physicals, receive practice schedules and go over team expectations. Tryouts take place on Wednesday, Aug. 10, and Thursday, Aug. 11, at 6 a.m. at Hughes Creek.

SOCCER—Tryouts begin on Wednesday, Aug. 10. All levels will have tryouts from 9 to 11 a.m., and from 3 to 5 p.m., at the KHS soccer fields.

All players must purchase a spirit pack from the school. Bring cleats, shin guards, water, and gym shoes (in case of inclement weather). Parents who have questions can e-mail coach Scott Parillo at Scott.parillo@kaneland.org.

BOYS CROSS COUNTRY—Practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 10, at 7 a.m. The team meets in the high school cafeteria. The team will also embark on an overnight camping trip from Aug. 11 to 12. Parents with questions can e-mail coach Chad Clarey at theclarey5@yahoo.com.

GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY—Practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 10. The team meets in the commons at 6:30 a.m.

POMS—Mandatory practice begins on Wednesday, Aug. 10, from 8 to 11 a.m., and the team meets in the high school commons.

CHEERS—Mandatory practices begin on Thursday, Aug. 11, from 7:30 to 10:15 a.m., and the team meets in the East Gym balcony. Also, the cheerleaders will be in the Elburn Days parade and host the annual dunk tank.

Additionally for all fall sports, Knights Under the Lights takes place on Thursday, Aug. 18, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Kaneland High School rises up with fall sports awards

Photo: Kaneland’s Hayley Guyton, was one of the highlighted athletes recognized for her State trip during the fall season for girls’ golf. File Photo

KANELAND—It was time to think warmer thoughts at Kaneland High School, as Friday had the release of the Kaneland High School Fall Sports Awards.

The awards were announced at this late date due to the postseason success of the football squad.

For girls cross-country, the captain trio of Andie Strang, Jessica Stouffer and Kris Bowen were recognized for its service.

Shaela Collins and Kaitlin Munyon took home the most improved runners honor, and Strang was named most valuable runner. Strang, Ashley Castellanos and Jennifer Howland were named to the Northern Illinois Big XII All-Conference squad, and Howland was honored for her State qualifying appearance in Nov.

For the boys cross-country side, Trevor Holm was picked as most valuable runner. and Ryan Paulson took home the most improved runner honor. The Larry Eddington Award for Courage, Leadership and Strength went to Tommy Whittaker. Grant Alef, Holm and Whittaker were recognized as captains.

The Golden Knight award, given to one runner in each grade level, was bestowed upon freshman Dylan Kuipers, sophomore Christopher Wido, junior Clayton Brundige and Tommy Whittaker.

Holm was honored for his standing in the NIB-12 All-Conference group, as well as being a State qualifier.

For football, Joe Camiliere, Jimmy Boyle, Taylor Andrews, Blake Serpa, Tyler Callaghan and Curtis Secrest were recognized as captains. Nick Michels won the most improved player nod, and the MVP honor went five ways with Camiliere, Boyle, Andrews, Serpa and Callaghan earning the honor.

Camiliere was named offensive MVP, while teammate Serpa took the defensive MVP. Quinn Buschbacher won the special teams MVP. A slew of Knights were named to the NIB-12 All-Conference team: Sam Komel, Ben Kovalick, Ryan Noel, Buschabcher, Sean Carter, Camiliere, Boyle, Serpa, Kyle Davidson, Jacob Razo, Callaghan and Andrews.

Concerning Kaneland golf, Anthony Sperando was named most improved player on the varsity level, and Hayley Guyton was named varsity MVP. Matt Yonkovich and Brody Kuhar shared the frosh/soph MVP sward. Sean Glennon was awarded the frosh/soph most improved player award. Team leader Guyton was also lauded for her eighth place finish at the girls’ gold State gathering.

For the Lady Knights volleyball crew, Jessica Lubic took the most valuable player award. Katy Dudzinski was named top offensive player, and Kylie Siebert won top defensive player award. The Spirit Award went to Mackenzie Curran, while most improved player was won by Lauren Banbury.

Lubic and Dudzinski were honored for their spots on the NIB-12 Conference team.

For boys’ soccer, Alex Gil, J.P. Minogue, Thansi Pesmajoglou, Trevor Wolf and Derek White were honored for their captaincy. Alex Weiss and Jordan Escobedo were named co-most improved player, while Minogue and White took home the co-MVP award. Rookie of the Year went to Anthony Parillo. The Coach’s Award was given to Gil, Sam Rymarz, Alec Koczka and Pedro Perez.

All-Northern Illinois Big XII members were announced as White, Minogue, Escobedo, Gil, Chad Swieca and Parillo. Honorable mention members were Perez, Rymarz, Koczka, Wolf, Tyler Siebert, Weiss and Pesmajoglou.

Escobedo was named to the all-Sectional squad, and teammate Gil was an honorable mention.

KHS duo make one giant leap for tennis at State

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill.—Not only did KHS tennis athletes make their way into the history books, they added a chapter.

Lady Knights duo Lindsay Jurcenko and Amelia Napiorkowski repped the Kaneland area during Thursday’s action in the IHSA State tennis meet and earned the first win in school history.

Jurcenko and Napiorkowski went 1-2 in Thursday’s action that included Kaneland’s first State match win in school history.

The unit earned a berth at the state final in the northwest suburbs after a fourth-place showing at the St. Charles East Sectional, and had their first meeting on Thursday against Rosary’s Angelina Goheen and Katie King. Rosary’s tandem emerged victorious in a 6-1, 6-2 battle.

Jurcenko and Napiorkowski defeated Hampshire’s team of Kendall Walker and Taylor Zilch 6-0, 6-4. The third match was an elimination loss to Emma Peck and Bethany Sexton of Danville by a final of 6-0, 7-6.

Marika Cusick & Caroline Lorenzini of Hinsdale Central won the doubles title.

With the conclusion of the State finals, Kaneland tennis and Coach Tim Larsen say goodbye to Jurcenko and fellow seniors Sierra Cruz, Caiti Ellefson and Meg Hanlon.

Tennis duo places fourth at sectional, head to State

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—For the way things ended up at IHSA tennis Sectionals at St. Charles East on Saturday, all you had to do was look at Lindsay Jurcenko and Amelia Napiorkowski.

“The final point where we won I was thinking, ‘oh my God we are going to State’, and (Amelia) turned around and we just ran at each other. Everyone was crying and jumping. I don’t even remember the next match,” Jurcenko said.

In the matchup with St. Charles North’s Kate Lesswing and Abby Roggemann, Kaneland’s unit won 5-7, 6-3, 6-2.

Napiorkowski doesn’t discount the impressive nature of Kaneland tennis’ accomplishment.

“Everyone there knew we were singles players and thought they could use doubles strategies against us but we caught on fast. We would adjust our strategies during the match,” Napiorkowski said.

Saturday’s celebration was warranted, and KHS hopes it will continue at the upcoming IHSA State Tennis meet. The meet takes place at courts in District 211, 214 and 220 in the northwest suburbs of Chicago, and now will feature the first-ever Kaneland presence at the State tennis finals.

The IHSA announced Tuesday that the Jurcenko-Napiorkowski tandem, who took fourth at Sectionals, will face Rosary’s duo Angelina Goheen and Katie King at Hersey High School in Arlington Heights, Ill., on Thursday, Oct. 21.

Jurcenko and Napiorkowski lost the third-place match to Bartlett’s Katie Gates and Gabby Gregorio 6-2, 6-1.

St. Charles North took home the sectional crown with 22 points.

Photo: Lindsay Jurcenko and Amelia Napiorkowski make KHS history as the first reps from the school at the State Tennis meet
starting Thursday, Oct. 21 Courtesy photo

Lady Knights tennis serves up talent at NIB-12, eyes IHSA Sectionals

ROCHELLE—There was no rest this past weekend for Kaneland tennis.

Gearing up for the upcoming sectional, the Lady Knights’ talent was put on display at the first-ever Northern Illinois Big XII meet in Rochelle on Friday and Saturday.

After the last volley, Kaneland ended up with a second-place finish in the NIB-12 East gathering with 16 points.

Sycamore took the East crown to become division champ, while Dixon was tops in the West.

For KHS, senior cornerstone Lindsay Jurcenko was a fourth-place finisher in the No. 1 singles bracket, while teammate Amelia Napiorkowski took second in the No. 2 bracket.

Kaneland now gears for the postseason, namely the IHSA sectional at St. Charles East High School on Saturday, Oct. 16.

Lady Knight racketeers 8-6-1

Photo: Kaneland varsity doubles partners Meg Hanlon (left) and Caiti Ellefsen warm up before their home match against Mendota on Monday. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Kaneland Lady Knights tennis is still holding its own at this season’s late juncture.

Rebounding from a dual loss to Sterling on Thursday, KHS handled non-conference foe Mendota on Monday in Maple Park.

The Lady Knights are now 8-6-1 in dual competition (3-2 NIB-12).

The lone win for Kaneland in Sterling was the doubles tandem of Lindsay Jurcenko and Amelia Napiorkowski, who won 6-3, 6-4.

Against the Lady Trojans, it was pro-set scoring due to more matches in the 7-0 win.

Caiti Ellefsen and Megan Hanlon, two of the seniors (along with Jurcenko and Sierra Cruz) honored on Monday afternoon, went about business as usual and didn’t let the modified scoring get to their heads in an 8-4 win.

“Not at all,” Hanlon said. “You just think of it as an extra-long set.”

Monday marked the final regular season home meet before NIB-12 conference action in Rochelle this weekend.

“I think we’ve improved a lot over the season,” Ellefsen said. “We’ve been getting better with aiming our shots and hitting them harder.”

Lady Knights tennis beats DeKalb

KANELAND—With the tennis season essentially in its homestretch, this is not a Lady Knights team that is dragging across the finish line.

KHS handed Northern Illinois Big XII conference mate DeKalb a 4-1 dual loss in Maple Park on Tuesday that raised Kaneland’s mark to 7-5-1 (4-1 NIB-12).

No. 1 singles entry Lindsay Jurcenko managed a 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 win over Dana Jorgensen, and No. 2 player Amelia Napiorkowski had a 6-0, 6-0 win over Brooke Wilson.

In doubles action, No. 2 team Caiti Ellefsen and Megan Hanlon took care of Heidi Pittsley and Madison Marten by a 6-3, 6-3 count. No. 3 team Maddy McMullen and Stephanie Rosenwinkel beat Samantha and Taylor Volk by a 6-2, 6-4 count.

KHS tennis takes care of Yorkville

KANELAND—It figures that the only thing to stop Kaneland from exhibiting its tennis prowess would be the elements on Tuesday.

Interrupted by lightning, the third doubles match was stopped, but Kaneland still earned a Northern Illinois Big XII win over Yorkville, 3-1.

That followed a 4-3 setback to host Oswego on Monday and a 6-1 loss to visiting Bartlett on Thursday.

The dual meet mark for Coach Tim Larsen’s Lady Knights is 6-5-1, with a 3-0 tally in NIB-12 action.

No. 1 singles star Lindsay Jurcenko took her battle with Yorkville’s Lindsey Schlichting, 6-0, 6-1. No. 2 singles entry Amelia Napiorkowski won her match with Jess Bossong, 6-2, 6-2.

The doubles win for KHS was earned by No. 2 tandem Caiti Ellefsen and Megan Hanlon over Jess Arnfelt and Rachel Ems, 6-4, 7-6.

Against the Panthers on Monday, the singles were all won by Kaneland, including a first-ever varsity win for sophomore Jess Woodward in a 2-6, 6-1, 6-2 matchup.

The lone win over Bartlett was had by Sam Williams and Jordyn Withey in doubles action, 6-3, 6-4.

Ahead for the Lady Knights is the Rochelle Invite on Saturday, Sept. 25, at 8:30 a.m.

KHS tennis has unbeaten week

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—If tennis fans were wondering how the current talent on the roster would come together and produce on the courts, it’s been good so far.

Going 2-0-1 in dual meet competition this week, the Lady Knights improved to 5-3-1. On Tuesday, Kaneland swept host Morris in Northern Illinois Big XII action 5-0. Thursday had the Lady Knights edge visiting Rochelle 3-2, and a historically disappointing rivalry with host Rosary on Monday ended in a 3-3 deadlock.

Lindsay Jurcenko and Amelia Napiorkowski won their matches in straight sets on Tuesday, as did the doubles units of Madi Limbrick/Maria Rossi, Caiti Ellefsen/Megan Hanlon and Maddy McMullen/Stephanie Rosenwinkel.

“I really had to focus on my cross-court and down-the-line shots,” Jurcenko said on Tuesday. “I made sure I got my first serves in.”

Jurcenko also likes the way the team is headed.

“We lost eight girls last year. Bringing in a whole new doubles lineup and going to a new conference could have hurt us. At this point in time, everyone is getting into their groove,” Jurcenko said.

Against the Royals, Jurcenko, Napiorkowski and the team of Sam Williams/Jordyn Withey took home straight-set wins.

The singles crew took a sweep of the Hubs, while McMullen/Rosenwinkel and Williams/Withey won their doubles match.

Coming up for Kaneland is a home matchup vs. Bartlett on Thursday, Sept. 16.

Photo: Junior Maria Rossi gets ready to return the favor during a 6-3, 6-2 doubles win for herself and junior Madi Limbrick on Tuesday in Morris. Photo by Mike Slodki

Tennis serves defeat to two foes

KANELAND—Not a bad week for Lady Knights tennis.

A better than average week has KHS at 3-3 in dual meet competition.

On Thursday, Kaneland hosted the larger DuPage Valley Conference school Glenbard North on Friday and won 4-2. On Thursday, Kaneland took care of host Minooka by a 5-2 final.

Against the Panthers, No. 1 singles entry Lindsay Jurcenko beat Nicole Durante 6-1, 6-0, while No. 2 singles player Amelia Napiorkowski beat Elizabeth Bierman 6-1, 6-2.

In doubles action, No. 2 tandem Maddy McMullen and Stephanie Rosenwinkel beat Gretchen Nichols and Erin Abell 6-1, 6-3. No. 3 team Caiti Ellefsen and Jordyn Withey came away with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Nikki Riscassa and Emily Laurila.

Against Minooka, Jurcenko (6-2, 6-0), Napiorkowski (6-0, 6-1) and No. 3 Nikki LeBlanc (6-0, 6-2) emerged victorious, while Ellefson and Megan Hanlon at No. 2 doubles took the win in a 6-7, 6-3, 7-3 win.

On Tuesday, the Lady Knights lost to IMSA by a 5-2 final, with Napiorkowski picking up a 7-6, 6-4 win and McMullen/Rosenwinkel winning at No. 3 doubles.

Kaneland’s next dual challenge is on Thursday, Sept. 8, against the visiting Rochelle Lady Hubs.

Tennis overcomes early struggles

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—A busy week for Lady Knights tennis had key players show progress.

Against the visiting Marengo Lady Indians on Thursday, KHS pulled out a 4-3 win that came down to the final doubles match of the evening.

With a 6-1, 6-7, 10-5 win, Sierra Cruz and Nikki LeBlanc took care of business and allowed Kaneland the slim team win.

The No. 1 team of Stephanie Rosenwinkel and Maria Rossi lost 6-2, 4-6, 4-6. No. 2 tandem of Caiti Ellefsen and Megan Hanlon lost a 6-4, 2-6, 4-6 affair, and No. 3 squad of Sam Williams and Jordan Withey lost a 2-6, 6-3, 4-6 matchup.

The singles battles had No. 1 competitor Lindsay Jurcenko win 6-3, 6-0, followed by No. 2 Amelia Napiorkowski’s 6-3, 6-2 win. No. 3 entry Madi Limbrick emerged with a 7-6, 7-5 win.

Wednesday saw Wheaton Academy come into Maple Park and sweep the Lady Knights in a 5-0 rout.

Saturday had Kaneland finish second at the Plainfield North Invite as a team behind Lemont. Jurcenko and Napiorkowski took their brackets, and Ellefsen/Hanlon finished second in No. 2 doubles.

‘I think the season’s going good so far,” Napiorkowski said on Saturday. “I’ve been on varsity for a year, so I try to use that experience.”

On Tuesday along Spartan Trail, the Lady Knights lost a 3-2 matchup despite wins from Napiorowski and the Rosenwinkel/Maddy McMullen team.

KHS is at Minooka on Thursday, Sept. 2.

Photo: Lady Knight Lindsay Jurcenko takes her swings during Saturday’s Plainfield North Invite in which she emerged queen of her bracket. Photo by Mike Slodki

Young tennis group vying for spots

Photo: Third-year coach Tim Larson leads the initial days of Lady Knights tennis practices that include freshman Abby Meyer. Photo by Mike Slodki

KANELAND—While eight seniors are gone from last year’s Kaneland tennis crew, the three varsity returnees all bring a game that’s been battle tested.

2010 begins with senior and three-year player Lindsay Jurcenko.

Jurcenko comes back with the most success from past rosters and finished strong, placing fourth in the No. 1 singles bracket at the final Western Sun Conference tournament.

“She’s got big goals for herself,” third-year coach Tim Larsen said last Thursday. “Our plan is to get as good a record as we can going into the Sectional tournament, get a nice high seed. She’s really dedicated and has played all year.”

Jurcenko serves in the model of upperclassmen well-versed in the Kaneland tennis system, making that part of Larsen’s job worry-free.

“She’s very competitive. It helps to keep her centered in the middle of the match, but she has the shots and she’s confident.”

Joining Jurcenko are juniors Maddie Limbrick and Amelia Napiorkowski.

“I took a big risk last year with Maddie and Amelia playing varsity singles as sophomores. They were playing a little ahead of their time. They would get frustrated sometimes, but that experience will pay off,” Larsen said.

In the early stages of KHS Lady Knights tennis practice, the lineup Larsen plans to take to court is still in flux with many slots open.

“We’re still early into practice. I’ve talked with a lot of girls that will play varsity for us, and we’re going to try out a lot of doubles team members. I’m going to try and see who’s playing the best and who’s playing the best together,” Larsen said.

Whomever plays No. 1 doubles this season will have quite the amount to live up to, with last year’s top combo Olivia Emmanouil and Liz Webb graduated.

“The No. 1 doubles team will be a team that didn’t play varsity last year. It’s going to be quick learning, while the No. 3 and No. 4 doubles might be more comfortable,” Larsen said.

The Lady Knights will look to improve on a 4-7 dual meet record from 2009, even though only three members return and the team now has some new opponents thanks to the new Northern Illinois Big 12 conference.

“I’ll tell you right now, I plan on winning them all,” Larsen said. “I feel very good about the ability these girls have. I think we have a shot to win every one of those dual matches in conference.”

With the new conference volleying for the first time, the East Division includes DeKalb, Rochelle, Sycamore, Yorkville and NCIC-school Morris.

“I know the coaches and they know the shots I’m planning to hit, and I know the shot they’re planning to hit, and it’s turned into a fun little conference between us,” Larsen said.

Serving against opponents in the varsity ranks will also be seniors Caiti Ellefsen, Megan Hanlon and Sierra Cruz, juniors Jordyn Withey, Maria Rossi, Stephanie Rosenwinkel, Sam Williams and Nikki LeBlanc and sophomore Maddy McMullen.

The Lady Knights begin 2010 against Wheaton Academy in Maple Park on Tuesday, Aug. 24, with the first conference action at Sycamore a week later.

The first ever NIB-12 conference gathering is the weekend of Friday-Saturday, Oct. 8-9 in Yorkville.