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Spring Sports Preview: A glance at upcoming Titan Athletics

Ashley Clark

GEORGIA ARVANITIS, SOPHIE HENSLEY, HENRY SCHLIEZER, SUSIE YOU, co-sports editor, asst. sports editor & staff reporters

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Badminton:

Key Players: Tina James, Jane Oh

Under the Radar: Nina Tojo

2015 Record and Finish: 5-3, fourth in Conference

Head Coach Terri Kimura has high hopes for the upcoming season as many key players and seniors are returning for the 2016 badminton season. The team is expecting to take top three in conference and sectionals and  place well individually at state, according to Kimura.

This season’s captains Tina James and Hannah Rauh are expected to carry the team far in the 2016 season. Kimura expects that multiple seniors will participate in state since James and senior Jane Oh are returning State qualifiers. The badminton team is working hard to ensure that they will have an even more successful season this year by working hard in practices and working on technique improvement, according to Kimura.

Baseball:

Key Players: Jordan Libman, Cameron Pauly

Under the Radar: K.K. Kopley, Andrew Kazmerick

2015 Record and Finish: 22-12, first round of Sectionals

Varsity baseball looks to overcome shortcomings, and compete for a conference title, according to Head Coach Steve Stanicek. To get the conference title goal, the team will need help from the younger, more inexperienced players, especially in pitching, according to Stanicek. Stanicek said the team have many returning players such as senior Jordan Libman, who was an all -conference player last season, senior Billy Logarakis, senior Justin Machado and junior Cameron Pauly. The Titans also get back underrated contributors such as senior K.K. Kopley and senior Andrew Kazmerick. The boys kick off the season against Leyden on March 17.

Women’s Track and Field:

Key Players: Maddy Eenigenburg, Emily Noone, Amelia Papajohn

Under the Radar: Lexi Roberts, Bailey Smith,  Waltz Peterson

2015 Record and Finish: No dual meet record, eighth in Sectionals

     The women’s track Head Coach Fred Kocian looks forward to competing in Conference. According to Kocian, their biggest victory so far was at the John Davis Relays because they beat New Trier.

     “At the [John Davis] meet, [New Trier] set five meet records and […] five school records,” Kocian said. “Even though they won more events than we did, we ended up beating them.”

     The Titans beat the Trevians by a score of 123-121. The Titan’s went from a 70-person team last year to over 100 this season, so Kocian believes the girls will do well at conference on March 17.

Men’s Lacrosse:

Key Players: Luke Howland, Nate Stadler

Under the Radar: Alex Ferrone, Andrew Marziani

2015 Record and Finish: 8-8, first round of playoffs

According to two-time captain and senior McLain Murphy, the 2016 men’s lacrosse team believes they will make it further in playoffs than they have in the last decade. Murphy believes that with Will Jeffrey, new Head Coach, the lacrosse program improve.

“I think the whole vibe of the program has changed,” Murphy said. “We talked about […] holding each and every guy accountable and making sure each kid […] isn’t falling behind on lifts and stick skills.”

As a team, the Titan’s goal is to place in the top 10 in the state, according to Murphy.

Women’s Water Polo:

Key Players: Kelly Klish, Carolyn Levi, Nicole Lopatinsky, Madeline McMillin

Under the Radar: Kayleigh Markulis, Bella del-Muro, Kacey Leone

2015 Record and Finish: 8-19, first round of Sectionals

The women’s varsity water polo team looks to improve last year’s record and team skill, according to Head Coach Michael Stancik.

“I’m looking to work on team play instead of focusing so much on individuals,” Stancik said.

According to senior captain Carolyn Levi, the team is looking to beat GBN and go far in conference. Stancik would like to instill fundamentals to build the program early.

Men’s Gymnastics:

Key Players: Jacob Fine, Patrick Tener

Under the Radar: Lucas Pauker

2015 Record and Finish: 6-2, second in Conference

The men’s gymnastics team is hoping for success as three state-qualifiers are returning for the 2016 season. The qualifiers include senior Patrick Tener, junior Jacob Fine and sophomore Lucas Pauker. Due to the strong senior base, the team expects  to establish a strong season. Head coach Brandon Tucker expects the team to improve every week and eventually score as high as last year. Tucker is unaware of the incoming freshman’s skills. However, he knows that the season will be a good one with the large amount of returning players.

Softball:

Key Players: Lisa Gebien, Alyssa Carasotti, Natalie Hayes, Casey Coletta

Under the Radar: Michaela Berg

2015 Record and Finish: 14-19, fourth in conference

In her last season as Head Coach, Kay Sopocy is expecting to have a successful season led by five returning seniors. Seniors include Casey Coletta, Lisa Gibien, Natalie Hayes, Alyssa Carasotti and Casey Kleeman. According to Sopocy, the main goal is for each player to improve as the season progresses. Sopocy is anticipating a big group of freshmen who possess the technique that will improve the program. The team has been working hard in open gyms during the off-season to prepare for the season, according to Sopocy.

Women’s Lacrosse:

Key Players: Sarah McDonagh, Lindsey Karsh, Sophie Hensley

Under the Radar: Perri Stewart, Macy McPhillamy

2015 Record and Finish: 19-5, fourth in State

The 2016 women’s lacrosse team hopes to start off the season as a strong and competitive team, according to Head Coach Annie Lesch. Lesch hopes that, early on in the season, the team will establish themselves as a better and stronger team against other competitors. The team really hopes to keep up the tradition of qualifying for State, because South has qualified the past two years, according to Lesch. There are 13 returning varsity players that  have a lot of potential and great technique that may lead the team to State, Lesch said. One key player is junior Lindsey Karsh, who played on varsity as a freshman and helped lead the team to victories, according to Lesch.

Men’s Volleyball:

Key Players: Alex Freidinger, Patrick Braczko

Under the Radar: Emmett Garvey, Matt Skweres, Jack Sullivan

2015 Record and Finish: 23-14, Regional Championship

The men’s volleyball team looks to gain a conference title, and compete for the sectional championship, according to Head Coach Tim Monahan. The Titans have a solid base to build upon this season from senior setter Alex Freidinger, according to Monahan. Freidinger is a three-year starter who knows the system and runs the offense, according to Monahan. The Titans also have returning seniors Patrick Braczko, Matt Skweres, Emmett Garvey and Chris Tiedmann. There are returning juniors who have worked hard in the off-season such as Teddy Gregory and Jack Sullivan, according to Monahan. The Titans start their season on April 5 against Vernon Hills.

Men’s Water Polo:

Key Players: Peter Dales, Tommy Hagerty, Brian Johnson

Under the Radar: Jack Wells, Brendan Chang, Tucker Nienhaus

2015 Record and Finish: 21-6-2, Sectional Semi-Final

The men’s water polo team looks to build on last season’s success, compete for a conference title and a place in the state tournament, according to Head Coach David Lieberman. The Titans have many returning players such as goalie Brian Johnson, senior Peter Dales, senior Tommy Hagerty and sophomore Brendan Chang. According to Lieberman, The Titans have the majority of their offense returning, and the majority of goal-scorers are returning. Lieberman also adds that the returning players are hard working, enthusiastic and aggressive. The Titans have the majority of their offense returning this year; however,  their defense is their biggest concern, according to Lieberman. The boys kick off their season on March 12 at the Conant Invite.

Men’s Track and Field:

Key Players: Gavin Cernek, Kevin Halloran, Jimmy Lustig, Patrick Doumitt

Under the Radar: Jack Kelly

2015 Record and Finish: No dual meet record, fourth in Conference

The 2016 men’s track has been working hard indoors in order to be successful in the spring, according to Head Coach Kurt Hasenstein. The team this year is relatively young. However, the 14 returning seniors lead the team very well, according to Hasenstein.

“We returned a lot of quality seniors this year, kids who scored for us in a varsity level, but not too many of them were at the high level,” Hasenstein said.

Besides the makeup of the 2016 team, the Titans won the Fenton Invitational for the tenth year in a row on Feb. 27, winning nine out of 17 events.

“It’s not as tough a meet as the CSL meet, but it’s a nice season opener,” Hasenstein said.

Women’s Soccer:

Key Players: Olivia Peters, Lily Sands, Anne Brennan

Under the Radar: Makayla Stadler, Libbie Vanderveen

2015 Record and Finish: 16-5-3, Regional Championship

Head Coach Seong Bong Ha looks to reach his five major goals for the women’s varsity soccer team this season. The Titans have won the last five of six Glenbrook Cup titles and look to acquire another this season, according to Ha. Ha also looks to win the West Chicago Wildcat Invitational, as this is the first season the Titans will be playing in that tournament. According to Ha, the team is a strong contender for the CSL South title, which is another goal for the season. Key players Olivia Peters, Lily Sands and Anne Brennan have acquired 82 goals, 39 assists and 223 points collectively. Getting to the IHSA Sectionals has been a goal since they last won the title in 2013.

“If [we] play together as a team, believe, score, defend, going to the state with this team is, without question, [in]the realm of possibilities,” Ha said.

Men’s Tennis:

Key Players: Rohan Gupta, Sebastian Desroberts, Bryce McClanahan

Under the Radar: Jacob Adas

2015 Record and Finish: 10-9, fourth in Sectionals

According to Bryce McClanahan, junior singles player, the 2016 men’s tennis team aspires to do well this year, especially under the leadership of national award-winning coach, Larry Faulkner.

“The season ahead is looking good; we have a strong team from what I can see so far, and we have the potential to [play] really well,” McClanahan said. “There are some strong newcomers, and everyone’s been working hard off season and seems to have significantly improved from last season.”

The first time the boys hit the courts will be on April 2, according to McClanahan.

“Our first match is a tournament in Rolling Meadows, where we’ve done well in the past,” McClanahan said. “Our team is looking good, so hopefully we can win.”

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Spring Sports Preview: A glance at upcoming Titan Athletics