Girls' tennis play in sectionals

By Brian Park
Executive In-Depth Editor|
After the Lady Knights varsity tennis team finished fourth in the conference tournament Oct. 6, six members of the team will be competing against nine other schools at the Schaumburg sectional this Friday starting at 2 p.m.and Saturday starting at 8 a.m. The meet will take place at both Schaumburg high school and Hoffman Estates high school.
Freshman Natalie Lysik and senior Jordan Pollock will be playing singles, The teams of junior Christina Santiago with senior Katie Best and sophomore Alexandra Gorodiski with junior Lauren Saiki will be playing doubles.
According to varsity coach Michael Mccolaugh, the top four singles players and the top four doubles teams can qualify for state. Last year, one singles player and one doubles team was able to qualify. This year, three of the four positions are seeded very well, which could help the team send even more players to state.
“But the main thing is we’re poised to top that this year,” Mccolaugh said. “Our goal is to qualify more than two. I think there is a really good chance that we can.”
For the team’s strategy, Mccolaugh does not plan to do anything different with this meet compared to previous meets. His advice for the players is to have fun and to relax.
However, because there could be some tight matches, Mccolaugh wants the players to stay aggressive and not give in to the pressure.
“[We] get to the net more, like we should, especially in doubles,” Mccolaugh said.
Gorodiski wants to focus on staying positive, not getting too overconfident, and playing her best. She feels some pressure, but thinks it is more enthusiasm than anxiety.
“I feel like most of us always stay positive and try to uplift each other,” Gorodiski said.
The team will also follow the team’s philosophy to take one point at a time. Because players have a lot of down time between points in a match, there is a possibility they can start dwelling about their mistakes and bad shots, causing them to lose confidence. Gorodiski definitely feels it is a weakness for the team.
“Whatever just happened, it’s in the past, we can’t change it, [we] got to move on to the next point,” Mccolaugh said. “So it helps us to stay focused, helps us to stay in the moment.”
Senior leadership has also played a factor in the team, according to Gorodiski. From last year, Gorodiski feels that the team has become more of a family, in addition to feeling like their strokes improved during the off-season.
“The seniors are huge,” Gorodiski said. “They help us with everything, whether it’s tennis, whether it’s helping us in school or keeping the team together.”
As a team, one strength Mccolaugh feels is confidence. All six tennis players experienced recent success at the end of the season, so it could certainly boost their confidence level.
“I think we’re kind of hungry,” Mccolaugh said. “We have a good opportunity here to qualify some people.”