Once again, the Lyons Township High School girls tennis team had the misfortune of being in one of the state’s toughest IHSA Class 2A sectionals in 2022.
While eventual state champion Hinsdale Central, Downers Grove North and Downers Grove South took all four singles and doubles berths, LTHS seniors Sofija Grujic, Scarlette Rahman and Maddie Rowen and juniors Ginny Gibbs and Mia Graziano all came within one victory of their first state trips.
“We’re looking to greatly improve our conference finish and get some qualifiers for state,” responded first-year LTHS coach Clint Buetikofer about this season’s roster. “It’s a great mixture of varsity veterans and newcomers.”
Buetikofer is no stranger to the high standards of West Suburban Conference Silver Division tennis. He’s been a teacher at LTHS since 2007 and was an all-state tennis player for Hinsdale Central, from which he graduated in 2003.
Gibbs and Graziano were the Lions’ No. 1 doubles team last season. They lost 6-3, 6-2 in their sectional quarterfinal match with state at stake.
Singles players Grujic and Rahman and Rowen, who played doubles with graduated Molly Burke in their sectional quarterfinals to top-four seeded opponents.
This season, Grujic, Rahman and junior Addy Pelling will play singles and junior Ashley Culin will play No. 2 doubles with Rowen. Freshman Abby Sullivan will play No. 1 singles.
At last year’s WSC Silver tournament, Grujic, Rahman and Pelling played No. 1-2-3 singles and Culin played No. 3 doubles. Pelling and Culin placed a team-best fourth in their flights and the Lions finished fifth and fifth in the final overall standings after going 3-3 in duals.
RBHS girls tennis
The Bulldogs have varsity returnees but also graduated 12 seniors.
“We have a very young roster and are looking forward to seeing them grow over the season,” RBHS coach Sam Weiss said. “Our goal is to improve our girls’ skills and give them the tools they need to be life-long tennis players.”
Sophomore Soleil Kaciuba, juniors Eleanor Glennie and Eleanor Lenaghan, senior Danielle DiMonte and sophomore Alekse Alijosius are varsity returnees and should be among the top contributors again this season.
Senior Claire Krupske also is a varsity returnee. Junior Harriet Juister played singles at the 2022 sectional.
Sophomores Abigail Weinert and Abigail Krueger, freshmen Brooke Zavorski and Paige Zavorski are key newcomers.