Tag Archives: Madi Jurcenko

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2014 Girls Soccer Preview: Cornering competition

Lady Knights eye regional nod, another winning campaign
KANELAND—Eventually, Kaneland High School girls soccer would like to rid themselves of a couple nagging points.

Those would be being eliminated by Rosary in the playoffs, as has been done three of the last five years, and getting stopped short of a regional title, as has happened four of the last five years to the Royals and Crystal Lake Central.

Still, the journey ahead doesn’t seem to faze the KHS group, coming off an 11-5-3 (7-1-2 Northern Illinois Big XII) season from a year ago.

That could be the returning talent’s effect, softening the blow of seven seniors gone.

“We’ve got 22 on varsity this year, that gives us some nice depth,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said. “They’re pretty talented. They’re gelling quickly and they can maybe get over that hump.”

Parillo, in his 10th year of coaching the girls, would like to see the recent postseason troubles cease once they’re able to get on a regular routine.

“We’ve had three days outside, and not on our field. We’re trying to get acclimated to the weather. Most of the other schools are dealing with it, too,” Parillo said.

Kaneland was able to find scoring output from a wide array of girls a year ago, with a handful returning, namely Madi Jurcenko, Brittany Olson and Kiandra Powell.

“Brittany Olson had 15 goals, Kiandra Powell, once we finally found a good spot for her, she tore it up at the end there,” Parillo said. “We have a chance to have some scorers.”

Taking over for current Purdue Boilermaker Jordan Ginther between the posts is sophomore Emily Chapman.

At defense resides talent like Taylor Opperman, who moved back after a year in Michigan, Taylor Zitkus, Nicole Koczka, Taylor Emigh and Colleen Landers, with Heather Ortiz able to fill in, when not up front.

Ortiz is joined by older sister Michelle (forward/mid) and younger sister Lauren (midfield) on the pitch.

“The three Taylors, the two Emilys and the three Ortiz sisters, that won’t get confusing,” Parillo added.

Jurcenko, Michelle Ortiz, Courtney Diddell, Jess Coia, Delaney Stryczek and Holly Collingbourne aim to fill in the midfield ranks.

Olson takes care of the forward ranks, along with several of the midfielders donning Lady Knight colors.

Other seniors include Mary Piazza and Stephanie Zwick, and juniors include Emily Grams.
Sophomores include Ashley Crotteau and returnee Gabby Cano, while Paige Guyton adds a freshman spark.

Parillo would like the girls to get on a regular routine, made more complicated with the epic winter.

“We get this game in Tuesday on turf and then we have to sit, and there’s the spring break. The Rosary game we want to win; they’re our nemesis,” Parillo said.

The NIB-12 landscape is for the taking, if goals come Kaneland’s way.

“We should be there,” Parillo said. “DeKalb is always strong, Sycamore is always good, and Yorkville’s getting better every year, as it should.”

On Tuesday, Kaneland went to Rockford Auburn, and the first home matchup was scheduled for Thursday, March 20, against IMSA. Conference tilts begin on Tuesday, April 15, in Morris.

nib12

32 Knights earn NIB-12 honors

KANELAND—Kaneland High School announced its fall all-conference athletic honorees Tuesday. In all, 32 Knight athletes were honored by the Northern Illinois Big XII.

• Cross Country
Boys: Luis Acosta, Kyle Carter, Nathaniel Kucera and Andrew Lesak
Girls: Brianna Bower, Erika Carlson, Victoria Clinton, Aislinn Lodwig and Sydney Strang

• Golf: Matt Yonkovich and Brody Kuhar

• Football: Brandon Bishop, Drew David, Cole Carlson, Justin Diddell, Gary Koehring, Joe Komel, Dylan Nauert, Jaumaureo Phillips, John Pruett and Alex Snyder

• Soccer: Arsim Azemi, Anthony Parillo, Tyler Siebert and Chris VanDinther

• Tennis: Jelly Emmanouil, Madi Jurcenko, Stephanie Karolewicz, Colleen Landers and Sammie Schrepferman

• Volleyball: Ellie Dunn and Jenny Lubic

Lady Knight tennis handles itself in Stately fashion

No. 1 singles, doubles talents end up in consolation brackets
KANELAND—No matter if you’re seeded or an underdog, the IHSA State tennis competition, housed at District 214 outlets in the northwest suburbs, stands to provide a wallop of a competitive weekend.

It was as advertised for the Kaneland crew on Thursday and Friday.

No. 1 singles competitor Samantha Schrepferman, in her second go-around in State, went five matches, going 3-2.

No. 1 doubles team of Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko, who secured all-State honors a year ago, went 4-2 before a consolation ouster.

Garnering four points each, the two entries helped Kaneland manage a 26th-place tie with eight points at the State tournament.

“Other than Geneva and Oswego East, we finished in a higher place than all of our opponents from throughout our area, so we feel pretty good about the end of the season,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said. “Of course we feel like we could have won a couple more matches, but I think at the end of the day, 26th place feels pretty good.”

Overall, it was Hinsdale Central and Lake Forest with 39 points each at the top of the tennis heap, with Naperville Central’s Tiffany Chen taking the singles title, and Kendall Kirsch and Alexxis Kiven of Stevenson were crowned the doubles queens.

Schrepferman began her tour with a matchup against Edwardsville’s Emily Lombardi out at Hoffman Estates and won a 6-0, 6-1 match. Schrepferman then took on Glenbard West’s Carolyn Maltby in the second round, only to lose a three-set tussle in 7-6, 4-6, 6-3 fashion. Moving to the consolation bracket’s second round, Schrepferman beat Tori Lindsay of O’Fallon in 6-4, 6-3 fashion. Schrepferman then beat Champaign Centennial’s Lauren Neitzel by a score of 6-2, 6-4. In her final task, the junior was upended by Rock Island’s Nicole Tyulpa, 6-2, 6-0.

Emmanouil and Jurcenko began the end of their junior year campaign at Buffalo Grove High School against the Lyons Township team of Samantha Sherman and Megan Hickey in which the Lady Knights were felled in a 7-5, 6-7, 6-2 affair.

Moving to the consolation bracket, the Kaneland duo rattled off four straight wins in a row, all in two sets each. First, the Lady Knights solved Rachel Kaiser and Sara Stremming of Mattoon, 6-0, 6-0. Next, they beat Audrey Angelos and Anna Rossa of Oak Park-River Forest, 6-1, 6-1. The third-round consolation match featured Kaneland’s team taking Peyton Cole and Natalie Odin of Glenwood, 6-1, 6-3. In the fourth-round, Emmanouil and Jurcenko took care of Kelly Ruane and Maggie Ruane of Providence Catholic, 6-4, 6-3 before having their quest ended by the team of Jennifer Gates and Gabriella Gregorio of Bartlett, 6-3, 6-4, in the consolation’s fifth round.

With the conclusion of the 2013 season arrived, the Lady Knights say goodbye to three seniors: Abby Meyer, Kaylee Shoaff and Stephanie Zwick.

“Next year, those three return, and we have three more juniors from our starting lineup returning, as well,” Larsen said. “There are yet a couple more juniors and some talented sophomores that will carry the team on from here. We’re feeling really good about what the team looks like next year. So it’s the part of the year when we say goodbye to our seniors and enjoy the successes we had this season. Come summer, it’ll be time to roll up our sleeves and get back to work.”

Stringing up for State

Singles entry Schrepferman, doubles tandem Jurcenko/Emmanouil write tickets
AURORA—More of the same has turned out to be a good thing for Kaneland tennis.

Kaneland, based on its second-place team showing at the West Aurora Sectional this past Saturday, will have a State tournament prescence for the fourth straight year.

No. 1 singles player Sammie Schrepferman finished second in the singles category, while Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil took fourth in the doubles category.

The State gathering takes place Thursday through Saturday, Oct. 24-26, with the finals housed at Buffalo Grove High School.

Kaneland tied for second with 16 team points with Waubonsie Valley. Oswego East, with 21 points, took the sectional. West Aurora and Rosary rounded out the top five teams with 14 points apiece.

“I thought our doubles team would at least make the championship, and you have to give credit to Oswego East,” KHS coach Tim Larsen said.

Schrepferman’s second-place showing, and second State qualifying berth, featured a win over Carley Frauenhoff of West Aurora, 6-0, 6-0, a win over Lindsey Schlichting of Yorkville, 6-0, 6-4, a triumph over Sajela Harlow of Oswego East, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), and a championship setback to West Aurora’s Emily Stefancic, 6-2, 6-4.

Schrepferman noted the win over the Yorkville entry got the weekend going for her.

“I’ve played against Lindsay and trained with her, and it was a really hard match,” Schrepferman said. “My nerves are definitely gone this year; I understand what to do.”

“With the doubles, it’s going to be the same gameplan of staying aggressive,” Larsen said. “Hitting the ball hard and seeing what they’re doing strategy-wise. It’s a confidence factor in playing however they want to play.”

On the doubles side, 2012 qualifers Jurcenko and Emmanouil’s tour featured 6-1, 6-2 wins over Poskute and Lee of IMSA, and a 6-0, 6-1 win over Gow and Peabody of Yorkville, before losing to Blackmon and Hwang of Oswego East in 6-3, 6-7, 5-7 fashion and 6-2, 7-5 to Park and Ling of IMSA.

Despite the finish, the duo knew more action was on the horizon this coming week and a berth at State took away whatever sting existed.

“We know everything happens for a reason,” Emmanouil said. “This is a wake-up call. We need to be practicing harder and strategizing even more.”

It stands to be a familiar, exciting go-around for the KHS group.

“Last year at State, it was, ‘Well, we made it, let’s see how well we can do,’” Jurcenko said. “This year, we have an idea and we can actually do pretty well.”

Thursday will see the KHS state-qualifying trio kick off their opening-round action. Schrepferman will play Emily Lombardi of Edwardsville High School at Hoffman Estates High School, while Jurcenko/Emmanouil will battle the Lyons Twp. pair of Samantha Sherman and Medhan Hickey at Buffalo Grove High School.

Tennis_Courtesy

Lady Knights the standard for NIB-12 tennis

DIXON, Ill.—Kaneland High School, for a couple of years now, has acclimated itself as a top-tier team on the conference tennis circuit.

After the events of this past Friday and Saturday at Dixon High School, the Lady Knights don’t look to be leaving that tier any time soon.

Head coach Tim Larsen and company, with 35 tournament points, captured the East division and the Northern Illinois Big XII crown, after finishing second in 2012.

Yorkville (28), Morris (24), Sycamore (20) and West leader LaSalle-Peru (18) rounded out the top five overall schools.

Kaneland boasted two conference champs on the doubles end in the form of No. 1 team Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil, along with No. 2 tandem Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz. KHS also took home second place honors in the No. 1 singles with Sammie Schrepferman and No. 3 doubles unit Mallory Dugan and Kaylee Shoaff.

Jurcenko/Emmanouil beat the Davy/Lines team from Morris for the top prize in a 7-5, 7-5 bout. Kaneland’s team earned a finals berth after beating Cavanaugh/Bradish of Ottawa, 6-2, 6-0.

The Landers/Karolewicz crew bested Yorkville’s challenge of Peabody/Gow in a 6-4, 6-1 affair.

“These two played their best tennis of the season and were in control of every match they played. Great serves, great groundstrokes, great net play, and great reactions to their opponents’ strategies. (I’m) very happy for them and proud of their efforts this weekend,” Larsen said.

Schrepferman beat her Geneseo opponent 6-2, 6-2 before losing to heralded foe Angelina Ye of Sycamore in the finals, 6-1, 6-0.

“Sammie played a great match. She took a lot of points from Ye and forced Ye into hitting the ball long a lot, but Ye was at the top of her game and Sammie couldn’t hold her off. (I’m) still very proud of Sammie for how well she played,” Larsen said.

Dugan/Shoaff beat Ottawa’s team of Paves and Weitzel in three sets before losing to Yorkville’s Gorey and Megazzini in 6-3, 6-1 fashion.

Tuesday’s regular season finale against IMSA was rained out.

Kaneland now deals with the sectional field at West Aurora High School on Saturday, Oct. 19, with Yorkville the only other NIB-12 to join the group.
courtesy photo

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Rush to the end

Photo: Julia Golbeck competes at Geneva with doubles partner Maddy Michels (not pictured). The Lady Knights tennis team went 1-2 at the Geneva Quad on Saturday.              Photo by Patti Wilk

Tennis competes at Geneva Quad, Mendota, vs. Ottawa
KANELAND—At 12-4, the Kaneland High School tennis outfit is still going strong, with room left over to perfect its game.

After meets against Wheaton Academy and IMSA were rained out, the Lady Knights made their way to the Geneva Quad on Saturday and went 1-2. On Monday, the Lady Knights went to Mendota and won a 3-2 dual. Tuesday saw a home matchup with Northern Illinois Big XII crossover opponent Ottawa, where it was a 7-0 sweep of the Lady Pirates.

In the Geneva setting, the Lady Knights lost to Geneva 7-1, despite a win from doubles team Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil. KHS also lost to St. Charles East 6-2, despite another Jurcenko/Emmanouil win and a Sammie Schrepferman win in singles action. Kaneland rallied to beat St. Charles North 4-3, with Jurcenko/Emmanouil, Schrepferman, Stephanie Zwick and the Kaylee Shoaff/Mallory Dugan team all victorious.

Wins over the Mendota Lady Trojans were secured by Schrepferman (6-1, 6-1) and Zwick (6-1, 6-0) at the singles spots, and Shoaff and Dugan at the No. 2 doubles slot (6-1, 6-1).

A tightly contested battle provided some room for improvement in the coming days for Kaneland, particularly on the doubles end.

“I think our girls got frustrated with the other team’s resiliency and tightened up a bit,” Larsen said. “Maybe it was the long bus ride, maybe it was just a Monday thing. But we’ll be correcting some issues that we encountered this week at practice before this weekend’s tournament, for sure.”

Schrepferman, Zwick and Emily Lutter all took the singles bouts in two sets, while two-set wins on the doubles edge were completed by Jurcenko/Emmanouil and the No. 2 team of Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz.

Friday and Saturday, Oct. 11-12, yields the annual Northern Illinois Big XII conference meet out at Dixon High School.

Tennis_courtesy

Tennis swatting away

Photo: Tim Larsen’s Kaneland High School tennis squad poses for a photo after winning the Rochelle Invite Saturday. Courtesy Photo

Lady Knights take care of business on both ends on NIB-12
KANELAND—The remaining six landscapes better brace for Kaneland tennis.

The 9-2 (5-0 Northern Illinois Big XII) squad coached by Tim Larsen ran through visiting LaSalle-Peru last Thursday, 4-1, and headed off to Yorkville on Tuesday in a battle of undefeated conference teams, coming away with a 4-1 win.

In between, the team headed to the Rochelle Invitational on Saturday and took first.

The Lady Knights haven’t lost a conference match since Sept. 12, against Sycamore.

In the final home matchup of the 2013 campaign, the Lady Knights took care of the visiting Lady Cavs. Kaneland split the singles action, with junior Sammie Schrepferman sweeping Ali Kutz in the No. 1 singles battle, 6-0, 6-0.

Junior No. 2 singles competitor Mallory Dugan was defeated 6-2, 7-5.

The traditionally strong doubles side of the net did well in LaSalle County, beginning the No. 1 team of juniors Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil, 6-0, 6-0. No. 2 team of juniors Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz won 6-0, 6-1, and the No. 3 team of seniors Stephanie Zwick and Kaylee Shoaff won a 6-3, 6-1 tussle.

At the Hubs-hosted Rochelle Invite, the Lady Knights cut a victorious path in Ogle County, going 19-1 overall. Schrepferman went 4-0 in singles play, while the doubles section went undefeated, as well.

No. 1 singles, and all three doubles entries, played to victory against Yorkville, including the Jurcenko/Emmanouil team.

Schrepferman won 7-5, 4-6, 6-4 over a strong Lindsey Schlichting, while Jurcenko/Emmanouil won 6-0, 6-0.

“They were decent players, definitely, but I knew we could win,” Jurcenko said. “They have a really strong team and a lot of depth, so I knew it’d be a struggle for our team, but I knew we could do it.”

Emmanouil feels the duo is playing at a high level.

“Definitely as a team, we’re playing really well right now. All of our shots are really crisp, and I feel like our game is at its peak,” Emmanouil said.

Larsen was looking forward to the conference battle.

“I was nervous the whole afternoon. We got behind in several matches and we had to make a move. All you can do is tell the girls the shots they need to make. They hit enough of them,” Larsen said.

Kaneland was set to trek to West Chicago to face Wheaton Academy on Thursday, Oct. 3, and to meet with IMSA in Aurora on Friday. Oct. 4.

Tennis_September23_1

Facing Kendall Co. foes

Photo: Madi Jurcenko, part of Kaneland’s No. 1 doubles team with Jelly Emmanouil, defeated their Oswego opponents Monday 6-0, 6-2. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

KANELAND—Not all competitive matches will go your way. Just ask the roster of Kaneland tennis.

Despite performing admirably in dual action this season at 7-2 (3-0 Northern Illinois Big XII), the Lady Knights found themselves on the short end of a 4-3 narrow loss to the Southwest Prairie Conference staple Oswego Lady Panthers on Monday in Maple Park, but saw success by winning the Yorkville Quad on Saturday.

A matchup on Sept. 18 against Ottawa was cancelled due to inclement weather.

To begin against Oswego, it was junior No. 1 singles entry Sammie Schrepferman winning her match in 7-5, 6-2 fashion. No. 2 junior teammate Colleen Landers was toppled by a 6-4, 6-1 margin, and No. 3 junior singles rep Stephanie Karolewicz lost a 7-5, 6-3 matchup.

On the traditionally strong doubles side for Kaneland, it was No. 1 powerhouse team Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko winning their match 6-0, 6-2. No. 2 team Kaylee Shoaff and Stephanie Zwick were victors by 6-2, 4-6, 10-8 fashion. No. 3 team Mallory Dugan and Anna Wendling took a 7-5, 1-6, 14-0 loss, while No. 4 tandem of sophomores Brittany Zablocki and Emily Mirocha were bounced 6-2, 2-3, 7-4.

The week was a bit of a departure from the usual Shoaff and Dugan pairing, but KHS coach Tim Larsen has been pleased with their contributions in 2013.

“When the lineup put itself together at the start of the season, they were the two with the talent and experience necessary for the spot,” Larsen said. “The thing they have in common is that they love to compete and are very resourceful with shot selection. Great hands at the net, and very good at keeping the ball in play.”

In the Yorkville Quad featuring doubles action, first places were had by Emmanouil/Jurcenko, Schrepferman/Dugan, Landers/Karolweicz and Zwick/Shoaff.

On Tuesday against Morris, the tennis crew defeated the visitors 4-1. KHS swept the doubles matches, while Schrepferman handled her Morris counterpart 6-1, 6-0.

Upcoming action for Kaneland features the third in a three-match home swing against LaSalle-Peru on Thursday, Sept. 26, and the Saturday, Sept. 28, Rochelle Invitational.

Still battling

Tennis endures first loss of dual slate, but bests Sycamore
KANELAND—While win after win is nice, the odds of a long, continuous stretch of them are hard to come by in a competitive landscape.

Kaneland began with four dual wins in a row, and looked good against rival Sycamore this week, but fell to Aurora mainstay Rosary on Monday.

On Tuesday, Kaneland traveled to Ogle County for another chance at a Northern Illinois Big XII win in Rochelle and swept the Hubs 5-0.

KHS is now 6-1, with a (2-0) mark in NIB-12 play.

The Thursday matchup with the Lady Spartans ended in a 3-2 victory for the Lady Knights. While Sammie Schrepferman and Stephanie Zwick suffered losses in singles play, it was the doubles side that helped rally the effort.

The No. 1 doubles tandem of Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko won a 6-0, 6-0 sweep, and the No. 2 side of Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz took a 6-1, 6-0 match. No. 3 doubles unit Kaylee Shoaff and Mallory Dugan won a 6-4, 7-6 match to secure the team win.

Against Rosary in the 4-3 loss, Schrepferman earned the lone singles win with a 6-2, 6-1 decision, the Emmanouil/Jurcenko team won a 6-0, 6-0 clash and the Shoaff/Dugan team won 7-5, 6-1.

At Rochelle Tuesday, KHS swept all matches, with singles Schrepferman (6-0, 6-0) and Zwick (6-4, 6-2) and doubles Emmanouil/Jurcenko (6-0, 6-1), Karolwicz/Landers (6-2, 6-0) and Shoaff/Dugan (6-1, 6-0) all notching wins.

KHS coach Tim Larsen feels the Lady Knights can’t be in the business of overlooking anyone.

“There’s no room in this sport for taking anything lightly. We’re just trying to get ready for each opponent right now. (We) lost a close match to Rosary (Monday) and we feel like we left a lot of points out on the courts, so our next few practices will have a very fine focus on the shots we’re not executing as well as we should.”

Kaneland was scheduled to host crossover opponent Ottawa on Wednesday, and head to the usual late September Yorkville Quad stop on Saturday, Sept. 21.

Hot start

KANELAND—Coach Tim Larsen’s tennis team has to love its hot start, even though some matches have been cancelled due to the heat.

Sitting at 4-0 after a dual win at Plainfield North Saturday, the Lady Knights had a dual at IMSA canceled due to the heat Tuesday.

Against the Tigers, Kaneland swept the match 6-0.

“Plainfield North ended up being a dual meet,” Larsen said. “We got rained out of an eight-team tournament the weekend before, (Plainfield North) and us were the only two teams with an opening, so we just turned it into a dual meet.”

In singles action, No. 1 Sammie Schrepferman won 6-4, 6-0, while No. 2 Stephanie Zwick won 6-1, 6-3.

In doubles, No. 1 Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil swept their match 6-1, 6-1, as did No. 3 tandem Kaylee Shoaff and Mallory Dugan 6-1, 6-3.

No. 2 doubles pair Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz battled their way to a three-set win after falling behind in the first set 2-6. A 6-3, 7-5 sets two and three earned them a hard-fought win.

The No. 4 doubles duo of Brittany Zablocki and Katie Blazynski played a close three-set match, winning 7-6, 6-7, 10-6.

Larsen was pleased with the way his doubles teams earned their victories.

“It was closer than it looks on paper,” he said. “(Plainfield North Coach Lauren Madawick) has good young talent at No.1 singles and No. 1 doubles. No. 2 doubles pushed our girls just about to the limit in that third set—we came from behind in that match for sure, and No. 4 doubles was neck and neck the entire match.”

The Lady Knights next host NIB-12 rival Sycamore today at 4 p.m., and then host Rosary Monday at 4 p.m.

What a smash

KANELAND—Despite the usual late-August stop at Plainfield North getting shelved due to rain, the Lady Knights tennis squad was still able to show what it was made of in the early goings of 2013.

The DuPage Valley Conference representative Glenbard North Lady Panthers fell victim to the visiting Lady Knights on Thursday by a 5-2 mark in head-to-head action.

The Lady Knights’ record sits at 3-0 after a trip to DeKalb on Tuesday.

Against the Carol Stream, Ill. residents, the Kaneland contingent saw strong performances from both the singles and doubles ends.

At No. 1 singles, junior Sammie Schrepferman swept her match 6-0, 6-0, while senior Stephanie Zwick took a 6-4, 6-3 battle at No. 2 singles.

On the doubles front, Kaneland was paced by the No. 1 junior tandem of Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil in a 6-1, 6-1 sweep. No. 2 entries juniors Colleen Landers and Stephanie Karolewicz won their bout 6-3, 6-3, and No. 3 duo senior Kaylee Shoaff and junior Mallory Dugan took their match, 6-1, 6-3.

KHS coach Tim Larsen was eager as anyone to see what the lineup on paper would translate to.

“I have four very solid varsity players in Colleen Landers, Stephanie Karolewicz, Stephanie Zwick and Kaylee Shoaff. All four got varsity experience last year, and we’re still rearranging the No. 2 singles, No. 3 singles (when we need it), and No. 2 doubles spots. It’s a nice problem to have, but you want to make sure you get the right players in the best possible situations,” Larsen said.

Against DeKalb, the Lady Knights earned singles wins from Schrepferman (6-1, 6-0), Zwick (6-2, 6-4) and No. 3 Anna Wendling (6-0, 6-1).

In doubles action, Jurcenko/Emmanouil dispatched their opponents 6-2, 6-0, while Landers/Karolewicz won 6-0, 6-0, and Shoaff/ Dugan won 6-1, 6-0.

Kaneland gets back to the net on Tuesday, Sept. 10, in Aurora at Illinois Math and Science Academy.

Tennis_August_26_6

2013 Tennis Preview: The challenge to duplicate

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.”

“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. We have  to put in a solid effort and  be consistent.” KHS coach Tim Larsen
“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. We have
to put in a solid effort and
be consistent.”
KHS coach Tim Larsen

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.

Tennis team captains: Madi Jurcenko, Colleen Landers and Sammie Schrepferman.
Tennis team captains:
Madi Jurcenko, Colleen Landers and Sammie Schrepferman.

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.

High School students recognized for Land Use Plan participation

Photo: The Kaneland students that helped with the Land Use plan were presented awards and were honored at the village board meeting. Photo by Kimberly Anderson

Students recognized were: Nick Albano, Erika Carlson, Madi Jurcenko, Emily Laudont,
Caitrin Mills, Eric Meuer, Anthony Parillo, Paige Wagner and Kelly Wallner

by Susan O’Neill
ELBURN—Kaneland High School senior Nick Albano is on the varsity baseball team. He’s also an Eagle Scout, a cross country runner on his high school team, a participant in the Model United Nations Club and a member of the National Honor Society.

KHS sophomore Caitrin Mills has always been interested in acting, beginning with middle school plays and musicals. She was chosen to play a part in “Les Miserables,” and was the stage manager for “West Side Story—Kaneland Edition” this year. She is the vice president of the TINA (This Is No Act) improvisation club, and a member of the Scholastical junior varsity team.

What the two students share is a love of Elburn, and a desire to make it even better in the future. Albano and Mills last year joined eight other KHS students in providing input to help revise the Comprehensive Land Use Plan for Elburn.

The classmates on Monday were recognized for their participation by the Elburn Village Board.

Village President Dave Anderson, who introduced the students, said they made him feel good as a member of the Elburn community and as a parent.

“I wish to compliment your instructor in the selection process, because he selected a fine, fine group of students to help this community in planning for your future,” Anderson said.

Social studies teacher Mark Meyer said that Village Administrator Erin Willrett approached him about getting the students involved in the process of determining Elburn’s future. He and several other teachers then helped to identify the students. They chose two students from each class—two freshmen, two sophomores and two juniors. Because the project was to cover about a year, they decided to include only students who would still be at the school the following year.

Meyer said the students had learned in their classes about sustainable development, as well as farm land usage and water sustainability, so they were aware of some of the issues regarding growth.

Mills, who has lived in Elburn 13 of her 16 years, said that there are many things she likes about Elburn, including its small-town feeling.

She likes the fact that people can feel safe walking anywhere in town. She also enjoys the library, where she works part time.

Albano has lived in Elburn since he was born, and his family has been in this area since the early 1900s. He said that although he would like to move somewhere else for a while, he plans on coming back to live in Elburn. Albano said he loves the Metra train, because he can get to downtown Chicago in an hour.

He said he hopes ShoDeen will make the Elburn Station development inviting.

“If it ends up similar to Geneva around the train station, it’ll be really really good for Elburn,” he said.

Albano, Mills, and their classmates Eric Meuer and Jeremy Faletto, during a recent discussion agreed that it would be great to have a place in town where they could hang out, such as a coffee shop or something similar. However, Albano and Meuer said their No. 1 desire was for an amphitheater on the south side of Elburn, where they could go and listen to music.

The students said they would like to see Elburn grow, but they would like to see it expand outward around the downtown area instead of being too spread out.

Meuer said he would like more green space and more trees, especially in the downtown area. Albano agreed, saying he thinks the church parking lot would better serve the village as a park.

Faletto would like a swimming pool in town, and more restaurants that aren’t bars. Meuer said there are already enough banks in Elburn—eight in total. And Albano said a music store would be great, “something to bring people to the downtown area.”

The teens are also in agreement about what they don’t want, namely another Randall Road. They also don’t want Elburn to be like Sugar Grove, which they feel is spread out too much.

The students would prefer to avoid “a lot of town houses and suburban ‘pop-ups,’” and disconnected subdivisions such as Blackberry Creek.

“I’d like to keep the small-town feel, but to add more things to draw people—something that connects the people” Faletto said.

Albano’s mother, Sheila, said that Nick really enjoyed participating in the project. During the meeting with other members of the community, he invited some of his friends to come and give their input.

“A couple adults said they were very impressed with the kids,” Sheila said.

Although the adults and the students had some very different ideas about what they would like to see for Elburn’s future, Sheila said the kids were very respectful of the other community members.

Anderson said that some of the students asked him about why they were chosen to give their input.

“Our plan at that time was 23 years old,” he said. “Twenty-three years from now, guess what? You’re sitting where we (the trustees) are now.”

Anderson said that having the high school students involved was such a success that Images Plus, the consulting firm that created the plan, is encouraging other communities to get their high school students involved.

“Be proud of yourselves, because we’re proud of you,” Anderson said to the students.

KHS duo secures postseason honor

by Mike Slodki
Kaneland—Hits just keep on coming for the celebrated tennis duo from Kaneland.

That’s continuing with the volleys and smashes they sent at opponents in 2012.

The State-qualifying duo of Madi Jurcenko and Jelly Emmanouil were voted in as All-State players the last week of October, by virtue of their performance at the IHSA State Tournament in the northwest suburbs. A letter was mailed to Kaneland High School with the information last week, according to KHS coach Tim Larsen.

It’s the first All-State honor for KHS in tennis.

Going 4-2 in the final tournament, two-time State qualifier Jurcenko and Emmanouil were undefeated in regular season doubles play. The output allowed a top-24 standing at the final competition. The duo had previously nabbed the No. 1 doubles mantle at the Northern Illinois Big XII gathering at DeKalb High School.

No. 1 singles player Sammie Schreperman had also qualified for State.

“Reflecting on Madi and Jelly, I think if anything, that state tournament completely refocused them for next year,” Larsen said. “We had set goals of getting there and winning a match or two. By exceeding expectations to the extent that we did, two things have happened. First, we’ll always think about that weekend with a great, sentimental feeling. It is filled with fun, thrilling, and positive moments. Even though we lost our last match, we took away so many good things that the tournament was a great experience for all of us. Secondly, and more to the point of future seasons, we found out what we’re capable of.”

Strong end for KHS tennis

2 entries represent Lady Knights program proudly
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—No State medals were garnered, but the two separate Lady Knight entries that made the trip to the IHSA State meet at various northwest suburban tennis courts acclimated themselves well.

Kaneland High School had two entries head to State competition for the first time in school history, and was represented by No. 1 singles entry Sammie Schrepferman and No. 1 doubles tandem, Jelly Emmanouil and Madi Jurcenko.

Keisha Clousing of Wheaton-Warrenville South ultimately won the singles group, but Schrepferman had already made history by being the first Lady Knight singles player in history to make it to the late October dance.

The sophomore lost her two matches on Thursday, first to Adesuwa Osabuohien of Homewood-Flossmoor in a 6-1, 6-1 match, and finally to Oswego East athlete Jaiere Harlow by a tally of 6-4, 7-5 in the consolation bracket.

For the third year in a row, the Lady Knights had a Jurcenko in the State tourney, and the Emmanouil/Jurcenko crew beat Grace Alexander and Sam Diemer of Boylan Catholic High School by a final of 6-4, 6-0 in the opening round on Thursday.

The second round saw Kaneland’s duo beat the Whitney Young team of Syedah Cabell and Kendall Scruggs in a 7-6, 6-3 match.

The action picked up on Saturday after rain delays at Palatine High School, and the KHS duo took yet another match in the fourth round over Rachel and Rebecca Lewis of Danville by a final of 5-7, 7-6, 6-3.

The fifth round had Emmanouil and Jurcenko take a match over the Glenbrook South team of Martina Dragoytchev and Jessica Chepurda in an 8-5 single-setter, assuring a claim of a top-24 team.

The Lady Knight unit saw its season come to an end with a loss to New Trier’s Kirstie Woodbury and Cammy Frei by an 8-3 final that would have sent Kaneland’s team to a top-16 berth.

KHS coach Tim Larsen was glad that the talent on paper translated to actual court time.

“The girls and I knew that we had talent on the team, but didn’t know what we were capable of in the State tournament,” Larsen said. “Now we know. Having done that well as sophomores isn’t going to be a ‘finish line’ mentality at all. I can tell you for sure that Sammie has seen what it takes to have success in that tournament, and she will be more determined than ever to do so next year. And for Madi and Jelly, they surpassed their own goals for this year’s tournament. That was because the tournament was still somewhat of an unknown to us. Next year, we’ll be able to set challenging, realistic goals because of this year’s experience.”

With the end of the productive season, Kaneland tennis says goodbye to seniors Jenna Bicos, Sara Grams, Aly Harner, Brooke Harner, Cara Lenhardt, Danielle McCormack, Abby Meyer and Jessica Woodward.

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.

Spring kind to Kaneland athletics in awards season

Photo: Delani Vest capped a stellar senior season for Lady Knights softball by nabbing the NIB-12 MVP honor. File photo

KANELAND—A highly successful 2011-12 spring season was recognized with team awards dished out earlier this week, as well as honors from the end-of-year senior athletic banquet.

Awards were released on June 3.

Leading the charge was sectional semifinalist softball, which boasted the Northern Illinois Big XII MVP in pitcher Delani Vest. Joining the senior on the all-conference list was Paige Kuefler, Hayley Contorno, Allyson O’Herron and McKinzie Mangers, with teammate Lexi Roach an honorable mention.

Vest, Mangers, O’Herron and Sam Hansen were recognized as captains. O’Herron was named defensive player of the year, while Roach was named most improved player. Kuefler and Lanie Callaghan were named co-offensive players of the year, while Contorno and Kristen Gabrielson took home the Lady Knight award.

The senior athletic banquet awards recognized University of Wisconsin-Whitewater bound Sean Carter as Male Athlete of the Year, Kelly Evers as Female Athlete of the Year, Clayton Brundige as the Male Birkette award winner for dedication, and both Evers and Katy Dudzinski as the Female Birkette award for dedication recipient.

For boys track, Carter was named the Track MVP, while Nate Dyer took home the Field MVP honors. Brundige and Brandon Stahl were co-winners of the Drendel Award. Brundige, Carter, Miki Marin, Stahl, Nate Rehkopf, Kelvin Peterson and Mitch Dienst were recognized as captains. Dylan Nauert was named the winner of the Ron Probst award.

Finally, Kaneland’s boys track group of Luis Acosta, Brandon Bishop, Kyle Carter, Sean Carter, Dyer, Shane Jorgensen, Nate Kucera, Nauert, Tanner Andrews, Brandon Cottier, Marshall Farthing, Kory Harner, Conor Johnson, Dylan Pennington, Brundige and Marin were recognized as All NIB-12.

Meanwhile, the 11 State qualifiers were also lauded for their trip to Eastern Illinois University.

For Knights baseball, Tom Fox, Drew Peters, John Hopkins, Trevor Storck, Jake Razo and Tyler Heinle were named to the All NIB-12 team, with Bryan VanBogaert an honorable mention.

VanBogaert, Storck and Ray Barry took home the most improved player nods, and Trever Heinle was the recipient of the 41 Award in memory of Jeff Malewig. Fox was named the offensive MVP and Tyler Heinle was named defensive MVP, with Razo nabbed Mr. Kaneland Baseball for 2012.

The girls track season yielded quite the prestigious awards, with Amanda Lesak, Jessica Kucera, Maggie Brundige, Sydney Strang, Jen Howland, Lauren Zick and Kaltrina Ismaili being recognized as state qualifiers.

Christina Delach, Nicole Ketza, Elle Tattoni, Lesak, Gabby Aguirre, Strang, Zick, Ismaili and Howland also secured Northern Illinois Big XII honors.

Carolina Tovar and Ketza were recognized for their work as captains. Lesak took home the team’s most improved trophy.

The Track MVP honor was given to Strang, while the Field MVP honor went to Tattoni.

Kaneland soccer congratulated Jess Coia, Jordan Ginther, Delaney Stryczek and Katie Taylor for making All NIB-12, while Brittany Olson made the honorable mention list.

Melissa Bohorquez, Ginther, Taylor and Taylor White were recognized as captains, while Brooke Harner was named Most Improved Player for the Lady Knights.

Courtney Diddell and Madi Jurcenko capped impressive campaigns by garnering Rookie of the Year honors.

Taylor Opperman, Heather Ortiz and Stryczek were named winners of the Coach’s Award.

Michelle Ortiz and Olson were named winners of the Lady Knights Award, while the co-MVPs were revealed as Taylor and Ginther.

KHS soccer solves 3, puzzled by Sycamore

Photo: Brittany Olson tries to get the upper foot in a battle for the ball during Thursday’s 2-0 setback at the hands of Sycamore. Photo by Mike Slodki

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—Lady Knights soccer’s late-season homestretch is busy, to say the least.

It matters little how healthy you are heading into the regionals next week.

The Lady Knights continue to soldier on, defeating host Hinckley-Big Rock 5-0 on May 2, but succumbing to host Sycamore on Thursday in a 2-0 match.

The Lady Knights’ loss to conference rival Sycamore was their first since early April’s tournament at West Aurora.

Kaneland righted its soccer ship with a 7-0 rout of Morris on Monday after rainy conditions gave way to sunnier skies, and on Tuesday’s Senior Night, defeated Yorkville by the same 7-0 margin.

Kaneland’s record sits at 10-4-1 (5-2-1 NIB-12) on the year, so far, beating last year’s pace of 7-7-1 through 15 matches.

Facing the Lady Royals along Route 30, Kaneland was treated to goals from Brittany Olson just 61 seconds into the contest, followed by a Courtney Diddell goal 26 minutes later.

The second half saw goals from Diddell with 32:59 left, Madi Jurcenko with 27 minutes to go, and Heather Ortiz with 7:36 remaining.

Assists were gathered by Jurcenko, Jessica Coia and Didell.

Against Sycamore, the Lady Knights fell victim to a goal with 19:43 left in the first half when a shot went out of reach of an outstretched Jordan Ginther, and the Lady Spartans cinched it with a penalty kick with 21 minutes to go.

“On a streak that we’ve had, you think that every match is going to 5-0 or 6-0. It’s always good to get smacked upside the head a little bit and brought down to earth. Hopefully, this did that,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said.

The loss certainly seemed to do the trick for KHS, judging by the two ensuing matches.

Against Morris, Coia supplied a hat trick, while Jurcenko and Olson scored two goals each.

A five-goal first half propelled KHS to another handy win. Taylor White got things going with a goal four minutes in, followed by Coia and Olson finding the net. Olson supplied a hat trick, while White had two goals and an assist. Katie Taylor had a goal and two assists. Coia had a goal and assist, while Jurcenko supplied two assists.

Kaneland faces host Streator on Monday, May 14.

Soccer slams West division’s Ottawa

by Mike Slodki
OTTAWA—In the case of Lady Knights soccer, the mix of old and new is gelling enough to make anyone happy.

In a jaunt to LaSalle County on Thursday, Kaneland improved to 6-3-1 and 2-1-1 in Northern Illinois Big XII Conference action with a 4-0 shutout of host Ottawa.

With an early goal by Jessica Coia, and three second half goals, the Lady Knights continue to thrive as of late, with underclass totals in double figures and trying to exterminate the injury bug.

Coia’s rocket of a shot was helped by an assist from Courtney Diddell and Madi Jurcenko just six minutes, 52 seconds in.

The second half was highlighted by a Brittany Olson goal (assist from Diddell) with 24:44 to go in the game, and two Abby Bend goals assisted by Katie Taylor. The scores happened with 22:11 and 19:23 remaining.

The recent good fortune is at the hands, or feet of players like Diddell.

“Courtney is an amazing athlete in general. She make the game look effortless, she does not look like she is going fast, but she is, she has long legs and a long stride that is deceiving. She also has played club ball with a quality club-Campton United,” KHS coach Scott Parillo said.

In frosh/soph kicks, the Lady Knights used three Holly Brasfield goals and two Aislinn Lodwig scores to down Ottawa 6-0.

The varsity soccer crew hosts rival Rochelle on Thursday, April 26.

Head rush

Photo: Kaneland soccer defeated East Aurora, 3-0, on April 11 at the West Aurora Blackhawk Invitational, won by the host school. Here, Madi Jurcenko executes a backward head pass. Photo by Patti Wilk

Kaneland soccer enjoying unbeaten stretch
by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—In spite of injuries, Kaneland soccer is remaining a tough team to battle.

Needing to rely on underclassmen more than ever with the injury bug infesting the roster, the Lady Knights still suited up and bested East Aurora on April 11, tied Dixon on Saturday and trounced Marengo on Monday.

That accompanied a 1-0 win over the visiting Lady Barbs on Tuesday.

The current stretch leaves KHS at 5-3-1 (2-1 Northern Illinois Big XII).

Kaneland traveled to the Blackhawk Invitational stomping grounds of West Aurora High School to finish the tournament. West Aurora’s plaque went Kaneland’s way two seasons ago, and sent the Lady Tomcats reeling with a Madi Jurcenko goal just three minutes, 29 seconds into the contest.

“It’s very crucial, because it puts you ahead of the game,” Jurcenko said. “When you have that one step ahead in the beginning, it helps you play better.”

With a younger lineup of which Jurcenko is involved, winning seems to be the cure to any jitters.

“It definitely helps when we win because we’re such a young team and we haven’t played together that much, scoring really helps our confidence.”

Melissa Bohorquez found the net on an assist from Katie Taylor with 13:51 to go in the half for a 2-0 lead.

Finally, Emily Eckert put a cap on the afternoon with a goal due in part to a Nicole Hanlon assist with just 2:19 remaining in the contest.

Despite West Aurora winning the tournament for a second consecutive year, KHS coach Scott Parillo saw encouraging developments, almost by necessity.

“That first goal was huge,” Parillo said. “That doesn’t always happen, and it kind of set the tone. I was real happy. Fifteen of these players are freshmen and sophomores, and that’s pretty impressive.”

In NIB-12 crossover action, the Lady Knights benefitted from a goal from Brittany Olson on a Courtney Diddell assist 14 minutes, 19 seconds into the match, but surrendered a second-half goal to the Duchesses—one of three shots on goal to deadlock matters.

Against the Lady Indians on Monday, Katie Taylor broke through with two goals with 27:17 and 10:40 left in the first half, and set up the final goal by Taylor Opperman with 5:30 to go in the half.

The lone goal against DHS was an Olson goal with a Jurcenko assist with 31:43 left in the contest.

Frosh/soph action included the Lady Knights improving to 4-3-1 with a 1-1 mark in conference play. They have a 5-1 win over Marengo to thank for that, with Emily Grams finding the net four times, and Eckert scoring once.

Kaneland was set to partake in more crossover action, this time on Thursday, April 19, in Ottawa.

Kaneland soccer hopes to reach beyond Regional

Photo: Melissa Bohorquez attempts to beat her Maple Leaf opponent to the ball in the girls soccer opener Saturday. Photo by John DiDonna

by Mike Slodki
KANELAND—For the past three seasons, Kaneland girls soccer has made it to heights previously unknown.

Now comes the challenge of kicking even higher.

The Lady Knights finished 12-9-3 in 2011 and fell in the regional title match for the third consecutive year, but that was with 96-goal scorer Emily Heimerdinger at her peak.

With Heimerdinger and other personnel like Sophie Blank no longer brandishing the Knight insignia, its up to a crop that mixes returnees and newbies that now know nothing but a winning attitude.

“We are young with nine underclassmen on the team,” eight-year coach Scott Parillo said. “But in the opener (against Geneseo), when we possessed the ball, we created a ton of chances, and that’s promising.”

Parillo’s captains all bring a load of experience, and 2012 brings the return of 2010 superstar goalkeeper Jordan Ginther, fresh from a tour with her Naperville club team.

“We’re excited, we really are; she’s phenomenal and a class act,” Parillo said. “She’s one of the best goalies I’ve ever seen.”

With the other captains, Parillo is eager to put them to work on the pitch.

“They’ve only been on winning teams here at Kaneland. Taylor White, Abby Bend and Katie Taylor are all three-year varsity players. They’ve been around Emily and Sophie and Amy (Fabrizius) from last year and other players before that. We hope that if we make it to the regional championship this year, we can bring home that plaque,” Parillo said.

Taylor at midfield, Ginther and goal and Bend at forward provide good security for Parillo.

“They are all helping out and taking charge. Captains have to be vocal and lead the team,” Parillo said.

On the defensive crew, returnees Brooke Harner and Amber Winquist-Bailey help protect Kaneland, along with fellow multi-year Lady Knight Anne Marie Giese.

New additions to the defense are Taylor Opperman, a freshman.

At midfield, the captain Taylor lends her skills along with sophomores Delaney Stryczek and Jess Coia, with all three tallying goals and assists a year ago.

Able to play midfield and forward is freshman Madi Jurcenko, who tallied the first assist of the 2012 campaign.

At forward is fellow freshman Courtney Diddell, who got the pass from Jurcenko on St. Patrick’s Day for the first goal of 2012.

“These new girls are extremely coachable and fun to watch. They hate to lose and (are) eager to learn,” Parillo said.

Also contributing to the effort at forward are last year’s goalkeeper Michelle Ortiz, her sister, Heather, and Melissa Bohroquez and Brittany Olson.

Lady Knights soccer loses to Geneseo, beats IMSA

KANELAND—Coach Scott Parillo was happy at his girls soccer unit’s effort in the opening contest against Geneseo, despite the less-than-desirable result.

On Tuesday, the effort and result were perfectly matched.

With an 8-1 win over Aurora rival Illinois Math and Science Academy, the host Lady Knights improved to 1-1.

Geneseo used three well-timed second-half goals to beat Kaneland during an unseasonably warm St. Patrick’s Day encounter, 3-1.

The lone Kaneland goal was placed by freshman Courtney Diddell on a pass from fellow freshman Madi Jurcenko with 14 minutes, 31 seconds gone by in the action.

Taking on the Lady Titans, Kaneland’s three first-half goals were enough, as put in by Katie Taylor from Jurcenko, Jurcenko from Jess Coia and Diddell from Delaney Stryczek.

Diddell, Michelle Ortiz, Brittany Olson and Abby Bend put the ball in the net in the second 40 minutes.

The Lady Knights were scheduled for a meeting in Aurora against Rosary on Wednesday, and rest until the usual Blackhawk Invite at West Aurora on Thursday, April 5.

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.

Kaneland’s State-going tennis duo ends 2011 campaign

KANELAND—It matters little that a team like Amelia Napiorkowski and Madi Jurcenko were ousted after one match at this past weekend’s State tennis gathering in District 214 territory.

It matters for the second year in a row, however that KHS tennis has had a State presence, proving that, by definition, the Lady Knights are able to produce some of the most elite talent in the State.

On Thursday at Elk Grove High School, the duo lost a 6-3, 6-0 affair to the Benet Academy tandem of Mary Beth King and Daniella Reyes.

Marika Cusick and Caroline Lorenzini, of Hinsdale Central took the State doubles crown. Jerricka Boone of Chicago’s Morgan Park Academy won the singles title.

With the ending of the State tourney, the Lady Knights bid best wishes to seniors Leeza Corrirossi, Kelly Kovacic, Madi Limbrick, Napiorkowski, Stephanie Rosenwinkel, Maria Rossi, Sam Williams and Jordyn Withey.

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