BELVIDERE — Seniors will be all over the court for the Rochelle Lady Hub varsity tennis team this season. That experience and leadership showed on Thursday, when the Rochelle netters took down Belvidere 4-1 in nonconference action for the team’s second victory of the fall.
The Lady Hubs swept all three varsity doubles matches, with seniors Jordin Dickey and MeLisa Young teaming up to beat Cassandra Cortez and Citlali Vilchis 6-0, 6-1 at No. 1 doubles. Seniors Ella McKinney and Ashley Knight defeated Kate Hulstedt and Nikki Cortez 6-0, 6-1 at No. 3 doubles to extend Rochelle’s lead. Seniors Josie Lundquist and Megan Thompson sealed the sweep soon after, besting Jenny Espinoza and Teresa Madera 6-4, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles.
“It felt good to get two wins this week,” Dickey said. “We’re already playing well as a team and we’re seeing a lot of success already. I’m hoping that [MeLisa] and I can qualify for state and compete in the state tournament this year. I think we can do that if I improve my serves and we improve our forehand shots. It hurts losing two great players in Sawyer [McGee] and Sylvia [Hasz] but we have a really strong senior class and I think we’ll still do really well this season.”
Rochelle and Belvidere split the two singles points on Thursday, with senior Madison Ost earning the 6-1, 6-0 victory against Riley Freemand at No. 2 singles. Senior Emma Hicks battled Lory Lopez on the No. 1 singles court, falling 4-6, 3-6. The Lady Hubs (2-0) will continue nonconference play with a JV quadrangular meet at Rockford Guilford this weekend.
“I feel really good about how we played this week,” Young said. “I want us to have fun because it’s our senior year and I want us to have a good season and win a lot of matches. We’re learned how to place our shots down the alleys and hit the ball across the court. We have a much better understanding of where the other girls are on the court and where to hit the ball.”
Rochelle opened the season against Rockford Lutheran on Tuesday, taking the early lead before play was suspended due to severe weather. The match will resume on Wednesday, Sept. 8. The Lady Hubs led the Crusaders 3-1, with seniors Josie Lundquist and Megan Thompson cruising over Lexie Evans and Saida Cunningham by a score of 6-0, 6-1 in the No. 2 doubles matchup.
Seniors Ella McKinney and Ashley Knight topped Katelyn de Guzman and Camryn Berrios 6-3, 4-1 at No. 3 doubles, with the Crusader combo defaulting during the second set. Senior Emma Hicks faced Olivia Stram in the No. 1 singles matchup, falling 0-6, 0-6. Seniors Jordin Dickey and MeLisa Young currently hold a 6-2, 2-1 lead over Abi Lauer and Melanie Horn at No. 1 doubles. Rockford Lutheran forfeited the No. 2 singles matchup to Rochelle due to a lack of players.