Olivia Dvorak (left) and Lara Huns are two of the 13 seniors on the Riverside-Brookfield High School girls tennis team. As sophomore doubles partners, the two fell one victory away from a trip to the state meet. (Bill Stone/Contributor)

One of the best parts of the school day for Riverside-Brookfield High School seniors Lara Huns and Olivia Dvorak is second period calculus class.

They’ve become close friends through four seasons on the girls tennis team.

“We probably wouldn’t be sitting together at the same table together if it weren’t for tennis,” Huns said. “We’re both kind of grateful that we found each other. It’s made it easier to come [every day]. There are hard days so when we have each other [I’m glad].”

They’re just part of a senior-heavy roster but are the lone ones with the program since they were freshmen. 

Other seniors are Alyssa Cipriani, Isabella Diaz De Leon, Kailee Harper, Arriana Julius, Jocelyn Linares, Ana Nava, Clara Pizana, Stella Pizana, Bridget Shereck, Beatrice Spidale and Simona Sulminas. Key newcomers are sophomores Eleanor Glennie, Eleanor Lenaghan and Harriet Juister and freshman Soleil Kaciuba.

“We have 13 seniors and will be relying heavily on them to show our younger athletes support and motivate them on their future journey,” RBHS coach Sam Weiss said.

Huns has been a varsity mainstay since Day One, mostly playing No. 1 doubles as a freshman but singles at sectionals. She earned 2021 All-Metro Suburban Conference honors. 

Dvorak begins her third full varsity season. She played No. 4 doubles as a freshman with occasional varsity action. As sophomores, Huns remained at No. 1 varsity doubles but with Dvorak her new partner. 

They barely knew each other. By sectionals, they were one victory from qualifying for the IHSA Class 2A state meet.

“That was probably my favorite season, playing with Olivia, because we just have a lot of similarities. We connect,” Huns said. “I just felt like our energies bounced off each other in general and we were a good support system for each other.” 

What Dvorak remembers from their first match together is that she hit several good shots.

“I thought she was really good. I was excited but also really nervous to play with somebody who was a lot better,” Dvorak said. “When I was down during a match, she would kind of help me up. When she was down, I would do the same.”

Last season, Huns moved to No. 1 singles and Dvorak stayed at No. 1 doubles with graduated Adriana Stanovich. Both again came one sectional victory from state.

This season, the seniors are rotating at No. 1 singles and doubles as the Bulldogs seek the best combinations.

They appreciate their bonds with teammates who graduated and are being more outgoing to do the same with current seniors and program newcomers.

“I like everyone who is graduating this year. This group is really close and has gotten closer,” Huns said. 

On her left wrist, Huns updates the number of days until May 25 – her birthday and the final school day for RBHS seniors with graduation the next day.

Both want memorable senior tennis seasons.

“I really want to have a more laid-back season but also challenge myself,” Huns said. “It doesn’t have to be the best record-wise. I just want to have the best time overall.”