Injuries can slow down anyone’s season, and being an elite player is no exception.
Sycamore’s Angelina Ye was on her way to another fantastic tennis campaign before an ankle injury in the Northern Illinois Big 12 conference tournament hindered the junior’s progress.
Still, Ye had another successful season as she won both the NI Big 12 Conference title and the Belvidere North Sectional title. Ye was eventually eliminated from the state meet in the consolation quarterfinals.
After another great season, Ye is the Daily Chronicle’s Girls Tennis Player of the Year. This is the third straight year she has taken home the award.
“It means a lot every time,” Ye said. “The way I won sectionals on an injured ankle and going into state and placing as well as I did in the conditions I was in, it was great. It was really all I could ask for.”
Sycamore coach Dave Hillmer said that Ye deserves the award.
“Of course it is exciting. I love it,” Hillmer said. “She deserves it, too. She works so hard, she loves the game and she improves every year. She goes a little further in the state every year and I am just so proud of her.”
That ankle injury happened in the conference tournament’s final game.
With Ye leading 6-2, 5-0 and up 40-love, the junior twisted her ankle. She hit one final serve to defeat her opponent.
Leading up to the Belvidere North Sectional a weekend later, Ye wore a boot for day or two around school and seemed ready to play.
“It gave me more of a challenge for sectionals. I guess I was impressed with the way I played,” Ye said.
Ye was dominate at the Belvidere North Sectional and only dropped two games in her four matches.
At the state finals at Buffalo Grove, Ye was hoping for a solid performance and that the ankle would not be an issue. After winning her first two matches, Ye fell to Alessandra Bianco of Latin School of Chicago.
Hillmer said that you need to be 100 percent when you get to that level.
“Everyday, she had got it better but she just couldn’t push off 100 percent on her serves the whole time,” Hillmer said. “When you get to that level, you need to have everything going for you.”
Ye fought back through the consolation bracket and won four straight matches to earn a spot in the consolation quarterfinals. Ye face Bianco again and fell 4-6, 6-4, 6-0.
“I did fight really hard. And unfortunately, I lost to the same girl twice at state,” Ye said. “I definitely had a chance the second time to beat her. Things happen and I can hope to not get injured and work harder.”
Ye will return to Sycamore for her senior season and has hopes ahead for the Spartans.
“We had a great season this year and I think next year, it is going to be amazing with the whole team stepping up,” Ye said. “As seniors, we are going to be a more mature team. Sycamore should absolutely rock tennis next year.”
All-Area Girls Tennis team
Angelina Ye, jr., Sycamore
Three years, three player of the year honors for Ye. She reached the consolation quarterfinals this year, losing a 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 match after a tremendous regular season that saw 6-0, 6-0 wins over and over again.
Samantha Schrepferman, sr., Kaneland
A repeat selection from last year, Schrepferma took second in the sectional and made it into the fifth round of the consolation bracket at state before being eliminated.
Kathryn Sullivan, jr., Sycamore
Took third in her sectional but didn’t have to face her teammate Ye. She won one match at state before being eliminated in the second consolation round.
Mary Ellen Green, jr., DeKalb
Only losses at the sectional were to Ye and Sullivan. She lost her first two matches in the state tournament.
Angelica Emmanouil/Madison Jurcenko, srs., Kaneland
After winning the sectional, the duo made it all the way into the quarterfinal round of the consolation bracket.