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Girls tennis update: Doubles a strength for Dukes

Timothy Christian in the hunt for conference title

York's Blaire Porter (left) and Angela Avgerinos compete in a doubles match against Glenbard West on Tuesday, Sept. 24.
York's Blaire Porter (left) and Angela Avgerinos compete in a doubles match against Glenbard West on Tuesday, Sept. 24.

The high school tennis season is in full swing, and with the postseason tournaments rapidly approaching players are hoping to hit peak form.

York Dukes

Top players:

Blaire Porter, sr. doubles

Angela Avgerinos, jr. doubles

Annie Rivera, jr. singles

Outlook: Blaire Porter and Angela Avgerinos have moved up from No. 2 doubles to No. 1 this season and have been a formidable doubles team for the Dukes. The duo placed in the top 32 at state last year and both have made state twice.

Porter and Avgerinos improved to 17-4 after winning against Glenbard West on Tuesday.

Avgerinos’ older sister, Maria, now is playing for Syracuse and left a vacancy at No. 1 singles after holding that spot for four years. Junior Annie Rivera, a state qualifier last year, has moved up from No. 2.

The Dukes were 11-7 overall and 3-3 in the tough West Suburban Silver heading into Thursday’s dual against Hinsdale Central, the last conference match of the season.

Replicating last year’s sixth place state finish may be tough, but the Dukes will look to get two singles and two doubles entries to state again.

Timothy Christian Trojans

Top players:

McKenna Byrne, so.

Annika Zeilstra, sr.

Sarah Dirkse, sr.

Outlook: A year ago, Timothy Christian won the Metro Suburban Conference and qualified two singles players and a doubles team to state.

Three of those qualifiers are back, and as of Wednesday, Timothy had an 11-1 dual meet record and most recently won the District 88 Invite by winning all four divisions. The lone loss came at the hands of prime MSC challenger Glenbard South.

Sophomore McKenna Byrne is back at No. 1 singles and got off to a 17-3 start to the season.

“She had a tremendous offseason playing USTA tournaments and showed up on Day 1 ready to compete with the top area players,” coach Keith Mills said.

Seniors Annika Zeilstra and Sarah Dirkse remain the pairing at No. 1 doubles and are 16-3 with two invite titles. Another senior, Abigail Kumar, has stepped into No. 2 singles and is 12-5.

IC Catholic Knights

Top players:

Kelley Hodyl, fr. singles

Chiara Gaudio, jr. singles

Outlook: Second-year coach Julie Hurt is leading the Knights’ program with a full varsity squad for the first time in years. Hurt, an IC tennis alumna and member of the school’s athletic hall of fame, has 15 girls to work with.

Freshman Kelley Hodyl gives the Knights a quality year-round player at No. 1 singles. Hodyl has a 6-3 record. Junior Chiara Gaudio has also been strong at No. 2 singles with a 6-2 record.

Most of the rest of the Knights have less playing experience, but there still are younger players doing well on the roster.

Sophomore Teresa Gaudio and freshman Autumn Gage have two wins at No. 1 doubles.

“Many of our players are new to the game and each have shown tremendous effort and development this year,” Hurt said.

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