ROCHELLE — The Lady Hub tennis team entered the 2020 season having won only four matches over the previous four years. After a historic finish at the IHSA 1A Rochelle Sectional this past weekend, the future of the Lady Hub tennis program is looking brighter than ever.
Rochelle finished third at the sectional tournament and medaled two doubles teams for the first time in school history. The postseason achievement highlighted a 6-12 campaign that saw the Lady Hubs secure nearly twice as many victories as they recorded between 2016-19. Rochelle also went 5-4 over its last nine matches, a sign that the best is yet to come for the Lady Hubs.
“I hope the girls continue to keep training, whether that means conditioning over the offseason or playing other sports,” head coach Lizzie Cartwright said. “When the weather turns around in the spring, I hope the girls come out and play as much tennis as they can… I expect and hope the girls come out during open courts over the summer and they can make more strides there.”
Rochelle will graduate three seniors from the varsity team including Melanie Gonzalez, Anna Guevara and Sawyer McGee, who all contributed to wins this season. Guevara departs as a two-year varsity starter in singles, while Gonzalez and McGee finish as three-year varsity doubles players. McGee and teammate Sylvia Hasz shined at the sectional tournament, medaling in third place and helping Rochelle to its best team performance since 2010.
“Our seniors were all really good role models for the younger girls,” Cartwright said. “Sawyer’s a natural leader and Anna always sets an example by cheering for her teammates. Melanie was also a great role model for our team. I’m going to miss their personalities and what they brought to the team. They were welcoming and supportive of whoever they played with.”
Sectional medalists Jordin Dickey and MeLisa Young highlight a handful of junior netters who are eligible to return for one more season in 2021. Dickey and Young have been a staple at the No. 1 doubles position, finishing second at the sectional and becoming Rochelle’s highest-placing doubles team since 2009. Juniors Josie Lundquist, Emma Hicks and Megan Thompson also contributed to several Lady Hub victories throughout the season.
“I was really happy we were able to have a season,” Cartwright said. “I felt that many of our girls needed one more season to get to the next level and that’s what happened. The girls exceeded my expectations, and I knew something would be possible for them, but they gave their all and I’m so happy with how our season ended. I’m so proud of what they were able to accomplish.”