WHEATON – The biggest news for the Wheaton Warrenville South girls tennis team happened before the season started, with 2012 IHSA singles state champion Keisha Clousing making the decision to not defend her crown.
“She is starting to play in ITF [International Tennis Federation] tournaments,” said Tigers coach Patti Clousing, who is also Keisha’s mom. “With that, she has to travel and she would have missed two or three weeks of the season. The scheduling wouldn’t be fair.
“But we do miss her, it is fun to have her around.”
Clousing, a senior who recently committed to Clemson to continue her tennis career, did come to watch Wheaton Warrenville South’s dual meet with West Aurora on Sept. 19.
“It tugs at everyone’s heartstrings,” coach Clousing said. “Obviously she is my daughter, but she is one of those dynamic kids who brings a lot of energy to the team. Obviously the winning is awesome but she brings that intangible energy that sparks the team.”
As a result of her absence, the look of the Tigers’ team is much different this fall. Senior Jen Moy has taken over the No. 1 singles spot.
“She is holding down a very hard spot,” Clousing said, “and I appreciate all her hard work. Last year she had to take a year off because of an injury. Now she comes back for her senior year and is playing in the toughest spot. She is going against nationally ranked kids almost all of the time, kids who gave Keisha a run for her money.”
Juniors Maddie Castillo and Laura Martz make up the No. 1 doubles team.
“The whole group except for Maddie, all are coming up from the JV,” the coach said.
“This is their first year on varsity, and they are learning how competitive our conference really is. It’s a great group of kids and they are doing everything they can when they are out there.”