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Local

College tennis: Fun first, results second for Skyhawks

The Sauk Valley Community College tennis team's success this fall will hinge on the play of sophomores (left to right) Kayla Wilson, Amanda Kent, Paige Goshert and Molly Ginn.
The Sauk Valley Community College tennis team's success this fall will hinge on the play of sophomores (left to right) Kayla Wilson, Amanda Kent, Paige Goshert and Molly Ginn.

After the Williams sisters dispatched yet another overmatched duo in doubles play at the U.S. Open, Serena emphasized in the post-match interview that having fun is her prime focus, the results secondary.

Rest assured, Molly Ginn was smiling and nodding.

“I was watching that, too,” the Sauk Valley Community College sophomore said during practice Thursday afternoon, “and I loved it. For us, obviously, we want to have fun. That’s one of the most important parts. We don’t want it to be too serious, 24-7.

“We want to be able to get the job done while having fun at the same time.”

The Williams sisters’ growing legend is proof that, when you’re having a good time, the results come. So it goes for Ginn and her No. 2 doubles partner, Paige Goshert, who Ginn and coach Sarah Kipping agree has made monster strides during her time with the program in order to move from No. 5 singles last year to No. 3 this time around.

“Just about everything, Paige has improved,” Ginn said. “She’s going around the court really well, and there are so many little things people can tweak to make their game better, and she’s done everything to make herself better.”

“That’s so sweet,” Goshert said.

Suffice to say, the Sterling-Dixon rivalry is a distant memory. Ginn, a Dixon grad, says she and her former Sterling rival likely split their head-to-head matchups.

“It all depends on the day and depends on the weather,” Ginn said.

Kipping calls her duo “scrappy.”                                                

“Oh gosh,” Ginn said. “That pretty well describes us.”

“Their hustle. They both run the ball down,” Kipping said. “Their serves aren’t as great as the other team, but they don’t give up on a ball. They’re go-getters. They’re going to get it back. They’re little backboards. They’re going to go get the ball and frustrate the other team.”

That “other team” is the No. 1 pairing of Amanda Kent and Kayla Wilson, who agree that scrappy is a good adjective for Ginn and Goshert.

“You could say that. They’re fun,” Kent said. “Molly has the heart to play, and Paige like this anger built up inside of her. She just wants to pound every ball.”

While the No. 2 duo gets by on grit, Kent and Wilson are a more conventional pairing, Kent a tower of intimidation at the net and Wilson the perfect complement, quick and also a force at the net.

“They’re going to definitely take over the net,” Kipping said. “And, because they’ve played together for so long, they kind of know each other in and out.”

That sort of twin speak doesn’t come over night. Beginning in their senior years at Dixon, Kent and Wilson are in their third season as partners.

“We both have our weaknesses and our strengths,” Wilson said, “but we’re always one step ahead of each other.”

All the girls carry full credit loads and work, as well. Impressively, Ginn, Kent and Wilson are all Academic All-Americans, and the Skyhawks missed team status by 2-tenths last season.

2013 Skyhawks roster

Player   Yr.       High school

Taylor Beckman           Fr.        Dixon

Ashlyn Berogan            Fr.        Sterling

Molly Ginn       So.       Dixon

Paige Goshert   So.       Sterling

Molly Hendricks           Fr.        Sterling

Amanda Kent   So.       Dixon

Brooke Thimmesch       Fr.        Dixon

Gabi Trujillo     Fr.        Sterling

Jessica Whetsel            Fr.        Sterling

Kayla Wilson    So.       Dixon

2013 Skyawks schedule

Sept. 3 – Oakton forfeited

Sept. 7 – Sauk 8, McHenry 1 (at McHenry)

Sept. 13 – at Rock Valley, 4 p.m.

Sept. 18 – at Waubonsee, 3:45 p.m.

Sept. 21 – at Moraine Valley, 10:30 a.m.

Sept. 26 – vs. IVCC, 3 p.m.

Sept. 27 – vs. Elgin, 3 p.m.

Oct. 4 – at College of Lake County, 4 p.m.

Oct. 5 – vs. DuPage, 10 a.m.

Oct. 11, 12 - Regionals

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