Spartans see no reason to split their doublesWinnetka 8/27/11 Glenbrook Norht's Vicki Olejniczak hits a running forehand during the New Trier Girls Tennis tournament | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Hanna Yu is now playing at Yale, but Glenbrook North’s tennis team is far from a rebuilding project.
Even with last year’s third-place finisher at State off at college, the Spartans returned plenty of players for another long run at the state tournament, including No. 1 doubles team Anna Zelechonok and Katrine Zhadovich. The juniors are back together for a third season and entered this week undefeated on the year.
“They have great chemistry,” Glenbrook North coach Peggy Holecek said of the pair that reached the quarterfinals of the State Meet last season as sophomores. “That’s what makes them successful. Until I have a good reason to split them up, I will not. I see no reason to rearrange anything right now.
“Both are playing some beautiful tennis.”
The same goes for the club’s No. 2 doubles team. Miriam Mikhelson and Lisa Silshtut also are in their third season together and went 2-2 at State last year.
The only true difference in this year’s team is at top singles, where Victoria Olejniczak takes over for Yu. Olejniczak played No. 2 singles a year ago and is looking for her first trip to the state tournament.
“We have a pretty solid group back,” said the second-year coach, who’s been with the program for eight seasons and guided the team to a fourth-place finish last fall. “I’ve very encouraged about this year.”
The Spartans, who took third place at New Trier’s invitational on Saturday, started this week with a 5-2 win over Loyola. Holecek mixed up her lineup at New Trier, giving Olejniczak a break from singles and the doubles players a chance to play on their own.
“We are really versatile,” the coach said. “We have players who are willing to do what is best for the team. All the girls have a clear vision of that.”
Glenbrook North gets tough tests next week in the CSL when it plays South Division powers Glenbrook South and New Trier. The Spartans start their North schedule Sept. 13 against Deerfield, one of three CSL North teams to finish in the top eight last year.
“I expect Highland Park, Deerfield and us to be in the hunt,” Holecek said. “That’s a lot of quality together. There is so much quality tennis on the North Shore.”