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.