Girls Tennis: Lady Hubs win Senior Night match over Newman Central Catholic

The Rochelle Lady Hub varsity tennis team defeated Newman Central Catholic 4-1 during its Senior Night match on Wednesday. Above from left to right are seniors Torrin Nantz, Abby Tarvestad, Francesca Williams, Bailey Jackson, Samantha Sanford, Marisa Whaley, Melanie Garcia, Katherine Sandoval, Michelle Lopez and Maleah Pointer. Not pictured is Mya Alvarez.

Senior players honored as Rochelle scores 4-1 victory

ROCHELLE — A collective effort from several seniors allowed the Rochelle Lady Hub varsity tennis team to score a decisive Senior Night win over Newman Central Catholic on Wednesday.

The Lady Hubs successfully snapped their seven-match losing streak, defeating the Comets 4-1. Rochelle began the evening with a Senior Night ceremony, where 11 senior players, including six varsity starters, were recognized for their contributions to the team. Senior Abby Tarvestad scored the first match point for the Lady Hubs (3-9, 0-5 Interstate 8), cruising over Newman Central Catholic’s Maria Ardis with a clean 6-0, 6-0 sweep on the No. 2 singles court.

“It’s really special to win on Senior Night and we’re all working together,” Tarvestad said. “Transitoning from doubles to singles has been different and I’ve noticed pros and cons with both, but I’ve transitioned really well and I really enjoy singles. I’m proud of our doubles teams this season and they’ve done a really good job. We’ve made a really strong bond this season.”

Rochelle took a 2-0 lead in the match after senior Maleah Pointer and sophomore Riley Doyle completed a dominant 6-0, 6-2 win over Ximena Hernandez and Emmy Burger on the No. 3 doubles court. The Lady Hubs sealed the match victory on the No. 2 doubles court, where seniors Bailey Jackson and Marisa Whaley took down Joy Zigler and Laurel Chavera 6-1, 6-3.

“It felt really good to earn that win,” Whaley said. “It was a lot for us to step up from JV to varsity, but I think we’re doing pretty well overall. Our communication has improved and I think we’re working better as a team. We’ve made a really strong bond and I think the time we’ve spent with each other during practice has carried over to our matches. We always cheer each other on.”

Junior Elin Zheng scored the fourth and final match point for the Lady Hubs on Wednesday, outlasting Emma Oswalt for a 6-1, 6-2 win on the No. 1 singles court. Seniors Torrin Nantz and Francesca Williams battled Julia Rhodes and Emily Beattie on the No. 1 doubles court, nearly extending the match into a third-set tiebreaker before falling just short in a 4-6, 5-7 loss. Rochelle will host a nonconference match against Harlem on Monday, Oct. 3 at 4:30 p.m.

“It was a tough adjustment when many of us moved up from JV to varsity, but I think facing better opponents has brought out the best in me and helped me improve as a player,” Pointer said. “Communication has been our biggest improvement and it’s something we talked about a lot at the start of the season. Having a positive mindset going into each point has also helped. We have a really positive environment. I love my teammates and I enjoy coming to practice.”