September 14, 2012
Sister, Sister: Siblings work together to reach goals Yesenia Cruz Managing Editor Senior Megha Patel and junior Neha Patel are not only sisters but they are also teammates. They see each other at home, at school and now on the tennis court. Megha and Neha have joined the club of being a sister team in tennis. The other team is senior Taylor Marquardt and junior Sammie Marquardt. “This year the Elk Grove tennis team has four returning varsity players out of a starting lineup of 11 girls. It’s unusual that I have two sets of sisters and they’re doubles partners,” varsity tennis coach Kristen Fisher said. “It’s definitely weird playing with Neha, but there’s definitely a sister thing going on as we play,” Megha said. She also adds that they don’t communicate much during the game. “It’s like we already know what the other is going to do,” she says. But being a sister team has its advantages. They aren’t afraid to call each other out when they lose a point and that trust that they have with each other in a way helps them become better players. As a team, Megha and Neha aimed to win a medal and accomplished that by winning a medal at the Addison Trail Invite. “Megha Patel and her younger sister
Neha Patel have also had a winning season being number two doubles. It’s definitely an advantage playing varsity tennis for two or three years,” Fisher said. Taylor and Sammie also play well. “Taylor Marquardt and her younger sister Sammie Marquardt have had a great season thus far playing number one doubles together with a 10-5 record,” Fisher said. The rest of the team also set some goals that they are hoping to reach by the end of the season. “I want to get better with my backhand and to get more aggressive at the net,” senior Jessica Morrill said. Last year, the team lost seven varsity members due to the fact that they graduated. Therefore, this year the team had to rebuild and focus on winning more matches. “This year we continue to work on match strategy, playing offensively and consistency. I would like to see the girls playing their best tennis towards the conference tournament, which I saw last year in a lot of our players,” Fisher said. Nevertheless, the team will be hosting the Elk Grove Invite tomorrow. Not only do they have court advantage but the team is ready to increase their effort on and off the court. “I think we’ll perform really well and hopefully place at the top,” Megha said. “
We will be versing some harder teams but with home court advantage and all the practice we’ve been doing, I think we can pull it off.” And compared to last year, the team has been able to improve a lot. “We have improved a ton this year. We have a better, stronger and more constant hitters,” Morrill said. Something new this year that has also helped them improve is the fact that they now have managers. They are seniors Milton Moscoso and Hiroki Abe. “They’ve been really helpful about not only givPhoto by Alex Ostrowski ing us advice and helping SERVE’S UP: Junior Neha Patel works her serve with techniques but just at practice. Neha and her sister, senior Megha being there and cheering Patel, act as an efficient team on the court. us on,” Megha said. “I know a lot of people think that we Fisher also adds that don’t get along but we’re both competitive its been very beneficial to the team to have people and instead of competing against dedicated managers this year. each other we compete together, which is As for how Megha feels about her partdifferent but enjoyable. I can’t think of a ner in crime, Neha, she has nothing but better partner.” nice things to say.
Murphy’s past experiences inspire team to succeed Julianne Micoleta Editor in Chief Two years ago, senior captain Conor Murphy was part of the 2010 Mid Suburban League (MSL) East champion outfit that did not enjoy the best of times last fall, struggling to find its form one year after losing 14 players from its history making club. This season, Murphy stands as the only player back from the 2010 team looking to restore his team to its former glory. “The highlight of my soccer career at Elk Grove was winning regionals my sophomore year against Conant,” Murphy said. “I’m trying to push this year’s
team so we can experience that again this year.” Compared to the 2010 team, coach Joe Bush says that the level of hard work this season is incomparable to past years. “I think this group is more connected to one another, and there’s not as much pure talent, but they certainly work harder together,” Bush said. However with a 2-1-3 record, Bush cites that the biggest weakness the boys are facing right now is their ability to execute. “Well with three ties, I don’t think we’ve played well when we’ve gotten a lead,” Bush said. “I think that we get a lead and we get real comfortable and we think that the game’s over, but they still
need to play for 80 minutes to make sure we finish teams off.” Conversely, Bush thinks that their biggest strength right now is the team’s compatibility. “Everyone is just on the same page,” Bush said. “Everyone has one common goal, there’s really no individuals. No one really cares who scores; we all just want to win together. However, a notable goal recently was that of Murphy’s overtime goal against cross-town rival Conant. “That overtime goal was incredible,” Murphy said. “The only thought going through my head when I got that ball was ‘win this game,’ and it was a great experience for me and my team to
put down Conant.” With the memory of the 2010’s regional win against Conant fresh on his mind; Bush hopes that Murphy’s goal and the team’s big win against Conant will motivate the team to win. “When we look at the whole season that might turn out to be a turning point,” Bush said. “Hopefully we can springboard off of that and start getting more wins and getting away from ties.” Going ahead into the season, Murphy hopes to improve his leadership skills, bring his team closer together and ultimately win as much as possible. “I would just like to improve my leadership skills and bring my team closer as the season contin-
ues so we remain a family and win as one,” Murphy said. And according to Bush, leadership is key to winning. “I think that Conor’s been a great leader thus far,” Bush said. “And he’s motivated the younger players and I think that you can’t win unless you have a defined leader and he’s done that right now.” For Murphy, this means leading the team to the same level of success the 2010 team experienced. “It makes me feel proud that my team believes and listens to me,” Murphy said. “But even more, they trust me to lead them to great places.”
Sugihara sets record, fuels girls swimming Yumi Miyazaki Cartoonist Girls’ swimming and diving started off the season with a huge success. At the home meet against Barrington on Aug. 31, freshman Nikki Sugihara broke the school’s 100-yard backstroke record. The old record was 1:01.9. Sugihara managed to get the time of 1:01.85. “After I saw the clock, I was really surprised. My team was really excited for me and I was excited too, but my next thought was that my legs hurt a lot!” Sugihara said. The success of the record breaking time just shows the fruit of the girls’ labor as the season began. “This year we’ve added additional training times and increased the amount of what we call dry-land training, which is essentially weight training.” said coach David Toler. With increased frequency of practices and adding more rigor to their training, the girls-- although unable to win against Barrington-- came very close. In addition
to Sugihara’s new record and win on the cheering for each other and the atmosphere 100-yard backstroke, junior Simona Kur- was definitely different from last year,” said ta placed first in the 200-yard Individual senior varsity captain Carlee Sprecher. Medley (IM) and second in the 100-yard The other varsity captains include butterfly. Morgan Schumacher and Angelica Ford. Their success as a team is not just in “We’re a much closer team this year the water. Their ability to unite as one, and we cheer for all our teammates. With while representing Nikki’s new rethe Grenadiers, cord, the team is has improved as definitely fueled well. up to set more “Last year new records this during the meets, year,” Kurta said. we weren’t really As the supportive of one season progresses another because and as the girls we were busy continue to poldoing our own ish their skills things at the meet. into perfection, But this year our both Toler and coach had us the team look forwatch our teamward to competmates compete ing at more meets Photo by Morgan Schumacher and truly support and hope to break them. It was an SET TO SWIM: Angelica Ford, left, and more records and amazing experi- Nikki Sugihara, right, take their mark on qualify for state. ence. We were all the backstroke event at St. Viator.
On Sept. 8 the girls participated in the St. Viator’s Invite and placed third out of nine teams with all the girls scoring points. Kurta won second in 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard IM. Ford and Sugihara won 2nd and 3rd respectively in 100-yard backstroke. Sugihara also won 2nd in 50-yard freestyle. Ford also placed 3rd in 200-yard freestyle. Kurta, Ford, Sugihara, and senior Jackie Hirschauer also competed in the 400-yard freestyle relay and placed 2nd. An event that both Toler and the girls are looking forward to this season happens to be the Main East Relay, in which both the varsity and junior varsity compete together as a whole. As for Sugihara, she has big expectations of her own as well. “I just want another record up there, except not an individual one, but for the relay. My teammates and I work very well together, and I believe we all deserve it,” Sugihara said. “But also I’d like to shorten my time for the 100-yard backstroke as well.”