Girls tennis team finishes 2nd season, looks to future

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Caitlin Kailus, Staff Writer

As the leaves began to fall, the DePaul Prep girls varsity tennis team wrapped up the program’s second season. The 2-year old program has grown immensely since its start. 

The team began the 2022 season with various conference and non-conference matches. While the team plays a lot of schools from the city, they also play against suburban schools, who can be very competitive.

This year, the girls played against the likes of Lane Tech, Jones, Lincoln Park, and Saint Ignatius. They secured notable victories in matches against Northside, Lincoln Park, De La Salle, Montini, and Saint Laurence. At the program’s senior night, the girls swept Montini Catholic, winning all five of their matches at the varsity level, and going 2-0 at the JV level to honor the team’s four seniors. 

On October 8th, 2022 the girls took home the title of GCAC Conference champions, with Clarisse Lorin, Isabella Chambers, Kiera Lloyd, and Kate Lloyd all taking first place in their doubles matches.

After all the practice the team has been doing, the conference victory felt especially rewarding. “All that hard work absolutely paid off,” Coach Nicole Kucera said. 

Following their win, the girls began the postseason. With a conference victory under their belts, the team was feeling ready for sectionals. The varsity team tied for 6th in the sectional, playing against opponents such as Latin School Of Chicago, Chicago Lab School, Wolcott, Francis Parker, and Walter Payton.

Although they made a respectable run in the postseason this year, the program hopes to make it all the way to state next year, after nearly missing the cutoff to advance. If the team had just finished 2 places higher, in 4th place, they would have made it past the sectionals. But their season had to come to a close. 

With players across all grade levels, Head Coach Kucera and Assistant Coach Joe Voss aspire to grow the program for the years to come. They believe that joining the program is a great way to get involved in the athletic community here at DePaul.

“It’s a great way for students to showcase their athletic skills and to work on something to get better at it,” Kucera said.

While joining the tennis program is an excellent way for students to show off their skills as well as compete, the team still likes to enjoy themselves.

“We like to have fun,” Kucera said.

When interest for the program began to appear at camps and the recent open house, it brought excitement for new growth within the sport. “Our competition’s going to keep getting better.”

Kucera hopes to recruit a strong group of players before the next season, as the program wants to make an even stronger run in next year’s postseason.