Photo: Seniors Jelly Emmanouil of Sugar Grove, Sammie Schrepferman and Madi Jurcenko both of Elburn. Photo by Laura Gampfer
Duo officially 9th in doubles, Schrepferman goes 3-2 with consolation end
KANELAND—The last several years of Kaneland tennis has been an exercise in excellence.
A State presence with several qualifiers each year, KHS was always ready to show what it could on the District 214 courts.
In 2014, doubles qualifiers Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko, and singles qualifier Samantha Schrepferman, showed quite a bit.
Schrepferman went 3-2 on her route through the fifth round of the consolation quarterfinals, while the Lady Knight duo made it all the way to the quarterfinals and went 4-2, finishing ninth after consolation quarterfinals.
“I think every match is different,” Jurcenko said. “You’re going to have different opponents every time, so you have to try to win matches a different way. You play to the match.”
KHS, with 13 total team points, finished in a tie with Highland Park for 16th place, tops in school history. Hinsdale Central (49), Stevenson (40) and Lyons Township (33) were the top three schools. Carmel’s Brienne Minor defeated Hinsdale Central’s Isabella Lorenzini to win the singles title, while Stevenson’s Vinaya Rao and Katherine Harvey beat HC’s Erika Oku and Stephanie Dolehide to win the doubles crown.
In her third State singles competition for Kaneland, Schrepferman (30-6), began with a win over Glenbrook South’s Breck Murphy 6-1, 6-4. In the second round, Schrepferman beat Grant’s Gaby Schoenberg 7-6, 6-4. Third-round action brought the first loss over the three-day affair to Palatine’s Asuka Kawai 6-1, 6-0. Fourth-round consolation bracket action saw a 6-1, 6-1 win over South Elgin’s Lisa Derowski, and the final match, in fifth-round consolation action, saw a 6-0, 6-4 loss to Madison Tattini of Bloomington Central Catholic.
Emmanouil and Jurcenko beat Crystal Lake Central’s Maddie Fox and Carely George 6-0, 6-1 in the first round, and Mt. Zion’s Megan Malgemann and Mara Lebo 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 in the second.
“I’d say the first win was my favorite one. It was good to get that out of the way,” Jurcenko said.
Third-round action had a tense, three-set win over Whitney Young’s Sloane Williams and Kendall Scruggs in a 7-6, 3-6, 6-1 match. In the fourth round, the Lady Knights disposed of Triad’s Alexis and Kylie McCarthy 4-6, 6-1, 6-4, before losing in the quarterfinals to eventual champs Rao and Harvey 6-1, 6-0. In the Rolling Meadows-housed consolation quarters, Williams and Scruggs beat the Lady Knights in a shortened match due to darkness.
The pair of Knight-Dolphin matches during State had their share of disputes over line calls.
“The Whitney Young matches were tough and really emotional. They were interesting matches,” Jurcenko said.
“I think the most noteworthy matches were the two with Whitney Young and the quarterfinal match against Stevenson,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said. “The Whitney Young matches were difficult on two levels. The girls just didn’t like each other, so as good as all four players are, and as good as the tennis was, it was also an emotional and mental battle on the courts. I would say the win in the third round was an emotional high and the loss in the consolation round was an emotional low for the tournament.”
Play on Thursday in the middle of matches was suspended due to a suspicious package left near the football field, halting play for two hours.
“I really wasn’t surprised at all that they made it that far,” Larsen said. “After watching them play the Sectional tournament, I had said to a couple of people privately that if they could maintain that level of play, it would be hard to imagine anyone beating them. Through all of the distractions, emotions, level of play, time on and off the courts, and the sheer volume of tennis they played over those three days, there were some natural ups and downs on the court, and who could blame them? So, no, I wasn’t surprised, but it was a difficult journey to get there, that’s for sure.”