Girls tennis season preview: New Glenbrook South coach inherits talented team

Glenbrook South’s Martina Dragoytchev hits a forehand during her doubles match at the Glenbrook North Sectional on Oct. 19, 2013 in Northbrook. | File

Glenbrook South

Glenbrook South figures to be one of the area’s strongest girls tennis teams, with Minnesota commit Annemarie Emme, Martina Dragoytchev and Jessica Chepurda all entering their senior seasons.

All three are familiar names, as is first-year coach Stephanie Mats, who took over the program after Katie Nicolotti moved to Pennsylvania with her family.

Evanston

Evanston had a pair of entries in the state tournament last year, as Olivia Luby and Kate Kremin qualified as a doubles pairing and Jessica Ampel qualified in singles.

Neither Luby nor Kremin is still on the Wildkits’ tennis team, however. Luby graduated and Kremin, a junior who was an excellent defender on Evanston’s soccer team this spring, chose to concentrate on soccer this fall.

New Trier

New Trier, as has often been the case in recent years, won a state trophy last season. The Trevians took third, just one point away from tying Hinsdale Central and Lake Forest for a state title.

“It was great last season in the sense that we really had a great state tournament,” New Trier coach Jerry Morse-Karzen said. “A lot of our kids played very well. All the kids either met or exceeded expectations last season at state, and the tough thing was we were just one point away from the state title. It was great, and yet it was a little bit disappointing because we were so close.”

Glenbrook North

Glenbrook North was in full-on rebuilding mode last year, having lost 10 seniors and four members of its state lineup from 2012.

This year is different. Junior Maddy Kahn, and sophomores Danielle Sokol, Hailey Koretz and Colette O’Regan — the top four members of the Spartans’ lineup a year ago — are back. They’re joined by several talented players, including freshman Catherine O’Regan, who’s Colette O’Regan’s sister.

Regina

Regina coach Bob Lepkowski plans on spending this week figuring out his lineup.

“In our league, we play a two-singles, three-doubles format, so I need two good, solid singles players and a third to be a backup,” Lepkowski said when asked what goes into determining his lineup. “And I’ve got a new freshman this year who’s looking quite good. I just want to see how her temperament goes — about whether she’s a competitor.”

Loyola

Loyola finished 98th in the state last year, as sisters Abby Witkowski, a then-junior, and Caroline Witkowski, a then-freshman, went 1-2 at the state tournament.

North Shore Country Day

North Shore Country Day wasn’t able to advance anybody to the state tournament a year ago, but it did finish fourth out of nine teams at the Niles North Sectional.

Niles North

John Amaro has been the girls tennis coach at Niles North for the past nine years, and he said he’s never before coached a player who hits as well as freshman Michelle Bacalla.

Bacalla joins the Vikings’ tennis team having a wealth of tournament experience, as well as a five-star ranking on tennisrecruiting.net. Bacalla is ranked 68th in her class nationally as of Monday.

Niles West

Niles West is full of varsity experience this year. Four-year varsity members Analise Vujica and Katie Chleboun are entering their senior years and returning state qualifier Eliza Kirov, a sophomore standout, also is back.

Maine South

Maine South finished 16th in the state a year ago, which was the Hawks’ best finish at the state tournament since 2010.  The team’s three-person state lineup — junior Leigh Friedman and sophomores Marti Wind and Kamila Czosnyka — is back. Senior Randi Wind, who just barely missed out on making it to state, also has returned.

Ridgewood

Ridgewood won’t field a varsity squad this year, but Julia Wicklund will lead the Rebels’ junior varsity team.

[Read the whole preview at High School Cube News]

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