Rochelle News-Leader | Girls Tennis: Lady Hubs score decisive win over DeKalb

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Senior Elin Zheng hits a backhand shot during the Rochelle Lady Hub varsity tennis match against DeKalb on Wednesday. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Rochelle dominates nonconference match with Barbs 6-1

ROCHELLE — Senior Kara Martinez showed tremendous confidence during her No. 2 singles match against DeKalb’s Nina Christopherson as the Rochelle Lady Hub varsity tennis team played host to a seven-point nonconference match with the Barbs on Wednesday evening.

Looking to build on a dominant showing against Kaneland, where Martinez scored a 6-1, 6-1 win over Ansley Faivre at No. 2 singles, the senior netter remained sharp during her match on Wednesday, dropping only one game in her 6-0, 6-1 win against Christopherson. The victory was one of many on the day for the Lady Hubs, who cruised over the Barbs for a 6-1 win.

“I was a little rusty at the beginning of the season, but I’m feeling more confident now that I’ve been winning some more matches,” Martinez said. “My shots have improved from where I was last year. I was hitting a lot of arched shots last year, but I feel like my shots are a lot flatter and I can place  them better. Coach [John Michael] Loggins has helped me a lot with moving up to varsity, giving me tips and making me feel comfortable with where I’m at right now. I’m hoping that we can place pretty high in the conference this season and have a really fun season.”

Rochelle (2-2, 0-1 Interstate 8) claimed all three singles points from the Barbs on Wednesday. Senior Elin Zheng played a flawless second set during her No. 1 singles match against Krystal Baggett, winning every game to clinch the match 6-3, 6-0. Sophomore Teagan Auld won the No. 3 singles match against Jolie Ni in straight sets, earning a 6-3, 6-2 victory for the Lady Hubs.

“It’s definitely a confidence booster for me to win,” Zheng said. “I was feeling like I wasn’t doing my best, but today definitely gave me a boost. I’m hoping that I can be more consistent this year and I’m hoping to interact with my teammates more so I can build better relationships with them. I think we have a great group of girls and everyone is close with each other. If there’s something that needs to be talked about, we can find the middle ground and everyone’s really nice. I hope that we can improve from where we were last season and have fun with each other.”

The Lady Hubs took three of the four doubles points on Wednesday. Seniors Ada Betancourt and Allie Dickey turned in a stellar performance at No. 3 doubles, winning in straight sets without dropping a single game during their 6-0, 6-0 sweep over Mia Bishop and Bernice Carmona. Seniors Annaleigh McKinney and Macenzie Glosser followed with a victory at No. 2 doubles, defeating Addelyn Foster and Emma Hart in straight sets with a 6-2, 6-0 win.

Juniors Kendyl Darby and Erin Murphy teamed up for a 6-0, 6-0 sweep against Kayleigh Smith and Bryana Calderon at No. 4 doubles to round out the wins for the Lady Hubs on Wednesday. Juniors Kitty Williams and Riley Doyle took the court at No. 1 doubles, fighting hard but falling just short in a 5-7, 4-6 loss against Preeti Islam and Alissa Kocjan. Rochelle will return to action on Saturday afternoon, when the Lady Hubs travel for the Harlem Varsity Invitational.

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