“Slicing” up the Competition: Girls Tennis Season Recap

Mary Kate Pinkelman

The Glenbard South girls tennis season has officially wrapped up and they “served” to be quite the “ace” of a team. Despite only having 5 returning varsity players from last year and a new head coach, Lisa Roy, who moved up from her positions as JV coach, the team took these changes in stride and ended up going undefeated in conference and had an overall outstanding season.

The last match of the regular season, the Upstate 8 conference tournament, proved to be a tough challenge for the Raiders, with high expectations for the team after their strong performance earlier in the season. However, the team was up for the challenge and came out and “smashed” the competition and earned their title as conference champions. Arifa Ridah and Felicity Abbott, as well as Bekah Brzezinski and Skylar Fischer, came in 1st place for their respective doubles placements, and Tia Knuth led the single players with her victory in 2nd singles. The win was an entire team effort with every single and doubles player getting at least 4th place in their placements. When asked her favorite part of the conference tournament, junior Emily Puchalski said, “It was great meeting all the other teams and having conversations about our mutual love for tennis. But the absolute best part was having one last hurrah with the team I grew so close with over the past 3 months.”

Tennis may be seen as an individual sport to some, but team chemistry plays a key role in the success of individual players. Junior Allie Mizwicki says, “Part of the reason we were so successful this year was everyone always gave it their all on the court, and if someone had a rough match, the rest of the team was there to pick them right back up again.” Each player may technically be on their own or with one other person while on the court, but they still have their whole team with them in spirit.

Although the season may have wrapped up with a conference tournament for most of the team, the number one and two ranked singles and doubles players competed in Sectionals this past Friday & Saturday. Junior Lorenza Foster-Simbulan and Tia Knuth, competed in singles sectionals at St. Francis High School, while juniors Mizwicki and Puchalski and seniors Sophia Hordeeman and Brynn Robbins played in the doubles tournament. Foster-Simbulan, after qualifying for state last year, faced some pressure to repeat last year’s triumph, but did not let that stop her as she won both her matches and qualified for state again. This was a huge win not just for Foster-Simbulan, but the entire tennis team, as they got to see one of their players compete at the highest level in high school tennis. At no “fault” of the Raiders, neither doubles partners qualified for the state match, but it was a great way to end their season, and for the seniors, their tennis career.

As sad as it is to see the tennis season come to a close, it is clear that the season was quite the “racket” for the team and it will be exciting to see how they perform next year.