Girls state tennis
When: Thursday, Friday and Saturday
Where: Buffalo Grove and 13 surrounding sites
Class 1A area first-round singles pairings: No. 3-4 seed McKenna Schaefbauer, University High (21-0) vs. Laura Strenck (Regina Dominican); Abby Totten, University High (25-4) vs. Gurveen Singh (Champaign Centennial); Kelsie Ayers, Bloomington (11-15) vs. No. 9-16 seed Piper Schrepferman (Kaneland)
Class 2A area first-round singles pairing: Madeline Gentry, Normal West (16-11) vs. Kasey Aucutt (Rockford Guilford)
Class 1A area first-round doubles pairings: No. 9-16 seed Charlie Sartoris-Carley Hundman, Central Catholic (31-4) vs. Kylie Jozwik-Melissa Variny (Lake Villa Lakes); Brooke Martin-Maggie Kraft, University High (8-11) vs. No. 5-8 seed Maddy Jacobs-Sydney Schott (Sterling Newman); Izzy Goodlick-Kristin Vose, Central Catholic (10-8) vs. No. 9-16 seed Ellie Gallagher-Regan O'Fallon (Ottawa)
Class 2A area first-round doubles pairings: Kayva Sudhir-Grace Walls, Normal Community (20-5) vs. Carolyn Page-Maya Nash (Homewood-Flossmoor); Annika Hiredesai-Hannah Shim, Normal Community (21-10) vs. No. 9-16 seed Macy Zaban-Ashtin Hara (New Trier)
Bloomington outlook: A senior, Ayers sprained her ankle in the season opener. "She has been steadily progressing, and in the past few weeks, has been playing some of her best tennis," said Coach Meg Rozboril. "Kelsie is the kind of player that will never give up on a point."
Central Catholic outlook: The pressure of being seeded first last weekend was well-handled by sectional champions Sartoris, a senior, and Hundman, a junior. “These two seem to play even better under pressure, so I'm very excited to see how they do at state," said Coach Hannah Meece, noting Sartoris is making her third state trip.
State rookies Goodlick, a senior, and Vose, a junior, have really started to gel. "I'm hopeful that they can get out on the court and play like they've been playing the past couple weeks," Meece said. "If they can do that, I think they could win a couple rounds." As a team, Central finished 12-2 in dual meets.
U High outlook: A freshman, Schaefbauer shares the No. 3-4 seeding with Claudia Miller of North Shore Country Day. Ahead of them are No. 1 Megan Heuser of Lake Villa Lakes and Miller's sister, Vivian, the No. 2 seed. "(Schaefbauer) could have a phenomenal weekend," said Coach Catherine Sturdyvin. "I'm really excited for her."
A junior, Totten is making her third state trip. "She isn't necessarily that kid who is going to go out there and outhit everyone, but she is completely comfortable with the tools and weapons that she has," Sturdyvin said.
In doubles, Martin, a freshman, and Kraft, a sophomore, have a way of getting foes off balance. "You kind of don't know what you're going to get between the two of them because they are both aggressive in their own way and it kind of just surprises you," Sturdyvin said.
Normal West outlook: Gentry finished fourth in the Big 12 Conference and third in the Class 2A Bradley-Bourbonnais Sectional. The strong-serving freshman has excellent ground strokes. Plus, she "will take the net when (the) opportunity arises," Coach Steve Wulfers said. She "has really added more variety to her volleys."
NCHS outlook: Sudhir, a senior, and Walls, a junior, are three-time qualifiers. This is their second trip as partners. "Kayva's strength is her ability to come up with a big shot under pressure," said Coach Roger Juers. "Grace has a lefty serve that gives teams trouble. They have been improving all year, working on their movement and poaching at net."
Hiredesai advanced in singles last year. She and fellow senior Shim were second in the Big 12 and third in the sectional. "They started the season very inconsistent and I was worried about them making it to state," Juers said. "They kept improving, especially at the net, doing a better job closing and cutting off easy floaters."