Crusaders ready to start new streak | Waukesha County Sports … – Greater Milwaukee Today | GMToday.com

Catholic Memorial’s Jessica Jacobson hits a forehand return in the No. 1 singles third-place match during the Dick Arnold Classic 8 Conference Championship last season at Woyahn Tennis Complex.

Catholic Memorial’s Jessica Jacobson hits a forehand return in the No. 1 singles third-place match during the Dick Arnold Classic 8 Conference Championship last season at Woyahn Tennis Complex.
WAUKESHA — ‘The Streak’ wasn’t supposed to end in 2022.
Catholic Memorial’s girls tennis team, which reached four consecutive WIAA Division 2 state championship matches and won titles in 2019 and 2021, was expected to make it five straight last fall.
Instead, the Crusaders were upended at sectionals by University School, which went on to win the state championship itself.
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Now, CMH hopes to start a new streak in 2023. With University School still in the same sectional, though, the Crusaders know that won’t be easy.
“Our focus is on good preparation and steady improvements each week with the hope that it positions us well come the end of the season to bring out our best tennis,” Crusaders coach Chris Benyousky said.
CMH will be led by a deep and talented senior class that accounted for seven of the Crusaders’ 10 varsity spots when they won the season-opening Hartford Invite on Aug. 12.
Top singles player Jessica Jacobson will anchor CMH’s lineup. Jacobson finished fourth individually at the state tournament in 2021 and fifth last year, and should be poised for a terrific senior season.
“Jessica has had a marvelous career,” Benyousky said. “We don’t expect anything different than the high standard she’s set for herself. We’re glad she plays for Catholic Memorial. She’s one of the anchors of this team.”
Junior Mary McCaffrey was part of a doubles team that reached the state tournament and won a match last season. This year, McCaffrey will move to No. 2 singles where she could be a force.
“Mary McCaffery brings a similar competitiveness and toughness to the court,” Benyousky said. “We love that. Mary’s one of our most versatile players, as well. So, she will likely see a little singles action this season. Regardless of where she plays, we know she’ll perform well.”
Senior Grace Dorow opened the season at No. 3 singles. The versatile Dorow has played both singles and doubles in the past, and has the ability to help the Crusaders in either spot this fall.
“Grace will be one of our four-year varsity starters,” Benyousky said. “She’s had a really nice CMH tennis career, winning some huge matches for us along the way. Grace also brings a versatility to our squad. As we put the pieces together for our team, she may see some singles and doubles action.”
Sophomore Elinor Proctor began the year at No. 4 singles and has the potential to produce a big season.
CMH’s doubles teams could include as many as five seniors and figures to be a huge strength.
Seniors Maggie Schmitzer and Jenna Ramthun began the year at No. 1 doubles and could form a terrific partnership.
Schmitzer is 45-14 over the last two years as a doubles player. Ramthun went 23-5 at No. 3 doubles last year, but seems ready to make the leap to No. 1.
“Maggie is one of our hardest working girls and the ultimate team player. She’s a great leader for our team,” Benyousky said. “Jenna has gotten better and better with each season. She had a fantastic season at (No.) 3 doubles last season. She’ll jump to one of the top two doubles spots and serve as a steadying force.”
Senior Rachael Borg and sophomore Luise Browne could pair up at No. 2 doubles.
Borg has gone 46-14 over the last two years playing throughout the lineup.
“Rachael has been nothing but spectacular for our program over her career,” Benyousky said. “Aside from being a top-notch kid, her steadiness on court makes her a really tough out. She moves well and is great at grinding out matches.”
Browne also has the versatility to play singles, and will give Benyousky several options.
Seniors Lauren Plas and Emelia Schwaab played No. 4 doubles last year, but seem poised to jump up to No. 3 this year.
“They’ve seen what it takes to play varsity level matches,” Benyousky said of Plas and Schwaab. “We’re hopeful they’re ready to step into the starting line up and make an important contribution.”
Others such as Mary Kellogg and Lauren Kubiak could factor into the Crusaders’ gifted lineup, as well.
“We’re excited about their potential and look forward to seeing how they fit into the mix,” Benyousky said.
Benyousky believes Arrowhead and Kettle Moraine are the front runners in the Classic 8 Conference. The Crusaders have the potential, though, to match ground strokes with anyone.
“There’s a lot of really good competition within the conference,” Benyousky said. “We’d love to be in the top end of this group, but know we’re certainly going to have to earn it.”
 
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Originally posted 2023-08-19 18:30:51. Republished by Blog Post Promoter