Girls’ tennis season one of highs and lows


Photo by Lifetouch

The girls’ tennis team cheers as the seniors are recognized.

By Bryan Dionicio, Reporter

The girls’ tennis team suffered defeats at the IHSA Sectionals on Oct. 14-15. 

Despite the fact the team did not move on to State, senior Erin Upham, who went 14-9 this year, had a strong finish, placing second in the Upstate Eight Conference. 

Senior Erin Upham finished second in the Upstate Eight Conference. (Photo by Lifetouch)

She won the first game against Fenton, then beat Glenbard North to triumph in a second game. Upham played second seed in the third round, and lost to Timothy Christian, taking second place overall.

“Skill level was very balanced, but after playing a few matches, I was very tired and I got a little frustrated because I kept making errors and careless mistakes, and that allowed her to get one up on me,” said Upham.

Despite the grueling meet, Upham had time for socializing as well.

“She was on the court and called me through her Apple Watch. We were just talking, and I said, ‘Are you done with your match yet?’ and she said, ‘No, I’m playing right now,'” said fellow Varsity teammate and senior Alexia Ettore.

“Honestly, it was nice. Alexia wasn’t there, and it was nice to talk to her during my match. My rock,” said Upham.

The team, including Coach Fred Toms, huddles before a meet. (Photo by Lifetouch)

The rest of the season featured highs and lows, starting with the meet on Sept. 7, 2022, when the girls’ Varsity tennis team tied against Willowbrook at a home game.

The girls fought hard to get their lead against Willowbrook and continue their winning streak, and initially tied with the opposition: the final score was 3-3. 

“I think compared to the other games in the season that we definitely improved too, and I think we did better than our opponents,” said senior Montse Tapia, a doubles player. She has been on the team throughout her high school career.

Against Willowbrook, Tapia and her partner, Ettore, played in the tiebreaker round. Both were competitive, and kept recovering from minor losses and errors, but in the end, they lost to Willowbrook.

“They won by one point,” said Tapia. “I think me and my partner both improved overall in our skills and how we communicated with one another.”

Tapia and Ettore performed well in the conference meet on Oct. 10, despite some difficulties with the opposing team.

“Our last match was really well played by both of us. A highlight of that was that the girl on the other team accused us of cheating and changing the score in our favor. She counted wrong, and did not agree with me. We replayed the point and aced her. Later in the game, she growled at us. That was interesting,” said Ettore.

The doubles team placed third in conference.

Strong bonds were a thematic this season, as evidenced by juniors Ayelin Vellikara and Judith Benitez. (Photo by Lifetouch)

Despite the ups and downs of the season, the team continued to maintain strong bonds.

“Everybody gets along super well. It’s like a little family, and I really enjoyed playing with the team all of my high school career. Every practice was super fun,” said senior Ema Tomasevic.

“My last season was great, I loved how everyone got along and was basically best friends with each other. I loved joking around with everyone every day, it made every day better. We all worked hard together and supported each other at every match,” said senior Anelise Velasco.

With the exit of several senior players at the end of the season, the team now looks to return next year with new goals.

“My personal goal is have a better season than last year which was 8-1 which me and my doubles partner got 3rd in conference hopefully we can beat some teams in sectionals as well,” said junior Maizy Jury via email.

She plans to play for the team again in the fall, and looks forward to the team’s bid to win the Upstate Eight Conference championship.

Other players aim to beat the tennis team’s major opponents in addition to performing well in major competitions.

“I hope I can advance to singles next year and beat Wheaton Academy. As a team, I hope we place at least third in conference and place in Sectionals,” said sophomore Addison Jeffery.