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.