The Varsity Team is coached by Brad Nelson, and the team’s record is 21-3 in regular season. Their losses were to York, and two other teams played in a tournament in Bloomington, Illinois. York was also their first match of the season, and one of the toughest teams they have come against. They also finished 6-0 in conference.
Last year, the Lady Bulldogs were conference champions for the first time since 2006. Their record was 21-1. This year, they won their second conference championship in a row, and they have 6 girls going down to state!
“This year I feel like we have more drive to work hard and be good.” Sophomore player Jenny Mizikar said. “We are more confident in our playing and we really want to beat last year’s record!”
A major part of their success is because of the hard work that they put in. They spend most of their summer at tennis camps, private lessons, and even hitting with each other for fun. Another big part of preparing for their season was their trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina in July. The girls played tennis for about five to six hours a day out in the hot sun.
“Playing in Hilton Head gave me a different viewpoint on the game of tennis, a professional tennis player taught us things that I had never even thought of before,” Mizikar said.
Another important thing is the girl’s relationships on and off the court. They are teammates, but also very close friends. This comes in handy especially when playing Doubles, because you have to work and communicate with your partner.
“We use different signals on the court, it helps us make plays and know what each other is doing, without our opponents knowing.” Freshman Amelia Cogan said.
Mizikar is partners with Cogan this year. They are ranked Number 2 Doubles and their current record is 37-1.
Other players on the team having a great season are Number 1 Doubles players Hannah Potter and Kaitlin Mills, and Number 1 singles Player Miranda Grizaffi. Potter and Grizaffi both made it down to state last year for singles. This year, the girls are eager to go back to state and look for a state title. A while back when I asked Mizikar and Cogan if they thought State was in the future for them, they only had one answer, “Definitely.” It looks like their prediction has come true.
The favorite to beat this year was Geneva, because of some tough new players, and of course the rivalry. Other exciting challenges and tough teams they faced were Benet, because of the bulldogs tough loss against them last year, and also Neuqua Valley. Last season, Neuqua Valley barely took a win from the Bulldogs, so beating them this year was very important to the team. Other games this year were against St. Charles East, Oswego East, Aurora Christian, IMSA, and of course Geneva.
Being able to go to state is something to be very proud of. This is the first time in history that 6 girls will be going to state. Their hard work has paid off, and their talent will continue to shine through as they continue on in hopes of a state title.