Girls Tennis: Lady Hubs enjoy successful seven-win season

Fourteen seniors departing from roster including seven varsity starters

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ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Lady Hub varsity tennis team had more seniors this season than during any other season throughout Lizzie Cartwright’s tenure as head coach. That experience translated into seven victories this fall, but with over a dozen seniors set to depart from the roster, next season could be a rebuilding year for Cartwright and the Lady Hubs.

Rochelle finished with a 7-8 overall record this season, scoring six nonconference wins and one Interstate 8 Conference victory against Kaneland. It was the fifth consecutive season the Lady Hubs had increased their win total from the previous season. Rochelle will look to build on a sixth-place finish in the conference and a fifth-place finish in the IHSA 1A Rochelle Sectional.

“I was pleased with how competitive our girls were,” Cartwright said. “They exceeded our expectations and they were determined to compete at the highest level this season.”

Fourteen seniors will depart from the Lady Hub roster including seven seniors who finished the season as varsity starters. Three-year varsity player Emma Hicks and newcomer Madison Ost anchored Rochelle in singles play, while two-time state qualifiers Jordin Dickey and MeLisa Young led the Lady Hubs on the doubles courts. Josie Lundquist, Megan Thompson and Ashley Knight will also depart from the program as multi-year varsity starters in doubles.

“I’m going to miss all of our seniors,” Cartwright said. “We shared a lot of stories and inside jokes over the years and I’m going to miss all of the laughter. I thought the girls improved their overall technique and their mental toughness. They were able to have fun and relax while playing, but they also knew when to be competitive and they learned a lot about the sport.”

Junior Abby Tarvestad will be the only Lady Hub player who earned varsity experience this season that will be eligible to return next season. However, Rochelle will have several junior varsity and fresh-soph players eligible to come back next season including sophomore Elin Zheng, who finished first in singles at the Princeton Fresh-Soph Tournament this season.

“I think all of our varsity spots will be open for any girls who’re willing to put in the effort,” Cartwright said. “Elin has stood out to us coaches with her consistency and I think she’s someone we can look forward to watching next season. We want the girls to keep working and want to keep growing the program and enjoy our success when we have it. I think we’ll be rebuilding next year but we know that everything comes in waves so I’m excited for that.”