ROCHELLE — Tuesday’s Senior Night matchup with the Kaneland Knights was one to remember for the Rochelle Lady Hub tennis team, which recognized 14 senior players including seven varsity starters, who rallied to secure their first Interstate 8 Conference win of the season.
Trailing 2-0 after two singles losses, Rochelle picked up the action in doubles play, with senior Ashley Knight and junior Abby Tarvestad taking down Kaneland’s Rileigh Williams and Ella Kuffle 6-2, 6-4 at No. 3 doubles for the team’s first point of the match. All eyes then turned to the No. 2 doubles court, where seniors Josie Lundquist and Megan Thompson recovered from a second-set loss to outlast Sarah Schimmel and Jenna Mauthe 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 to tie the match.
Needing one more point, the Lady Hubs looked to seniors Jordin Dickey and MeLisa Young, who have each been playing varsity tennis since their freshman year. Dickey and Young faced off against Maddy Rizzuto and Faith Bartkowiak at No. 1 doubles, securing a first-set win and digging deep in the second set to lock down a 6-3, 7-6 victory. The doubles sweep resulted in a 3-2 win for the Lady Hubs, who improved their varsity record to 5-7 overall with the victory.
“The girls always put maximum effort into everything they do and I’ve been really appreciative of that,” head coach Lizzie Cartwright said. “The underclassmen feed off the energy and positivity of our seniors. They know how to have fun, but they also know when to take the game seriously and they make it count when it matters. Their energy is good for our program in general.”
Seniors Emma Hicks and Madison Ost took the court in singles play, with Hicks falling 1-6, 0-6 against Evie Taylor at No. 1 singles while Ost fell 0-6, 1-6 against Lexi Maberry at No. 2 singles. The 14 seniors recognized on Tuesday include Dickey, Young, Lundquist, Thompson, Knight, Hicks and Ost as well as Ella McKinney, Liberty Hayes, Lauren Jackson, Ella Seebach, Hailey Miller, Abby Luxton and Margaux DaCosta. Rochelle will host the Interstate 8 Conference Varsity Championship tournament, which begins on Saturday, Oct. 9 at RTHS.
“The girls are really starting to own their own games,” Cartwright said. “They’re getting more comfortable with making different shots and playing at the net. They’re taking great angles and they’re communicating a lot more. This win definitely helps with their confidence and I’m hoping that they can continue to feed off that energy with the conference tournament coming up.”
The Rochelle Lady Hub varsity tennis team edged Newman Central Catholic on the road Wednesday, winning 3-2 and improving to 6-7 on the season. Seniors Emma Hicks and Madison Ost battled in singles play, with Hicks taking four games in a 2-6, 2-6 loss to Sarah Tunick at No. 1 singles and Ost earning three games in a 0-6, 3-6 loss to Marisel Schalck at No. 2 singles.
Seniors Jordin Dickey and MeLisa Young cruised over Julia Rhodes and Lilliana Campbell 6-1, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles, while seniors Josie Lundquist and Megan Thompson coasted over Joy Ziegler and Cecilia Sagel 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles. Senior Ashley Knight and junior Abby Tarvestad controlled their matchup with Emma Oswald and Sarah Murray at No. 3 doubles, winning 6-1, 6-3 to complete a doubles sweep for the Lady Hubs.