Lady Tiger tennis team honored

By Nancy Zeman nzeman@prairiepress.net
Posted 11/21/22

The Paris High School Lady Tiger tennis team was honored at a team awards night recently.

Coach Stefan Aydt reported the team finished the season 11-6. “This the most dual meet wins we’ve had …

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Lady Tiger tennis team honored

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The Paris High School Lady Tiger tennis team was honored at a team awards night recently.

Coach Stefan Aydt reported the team finished the season 11-6. “This the most dual meet wins we’ve had since I started coaching in 2015,” Aydt said. “That total is a big surprise to me, given that we came into the season looking to replace five seniors who accounted for almost 50% of our wins in 2021.”

Aydt praised this year’s seniors who “really stepped up along with some help from a few underclassmen to have another successful season.”

The team took third in its only regular season, the Paris Doubles Tourney. After going 5-3 in the Little Illini Conference during the regular season, the Lady Tigers took fifth place in the LIC tournament.

The highlight of the season was Lily Graham and Kimber Calvert going into IHSA Sectionals as the number five seed, but coming out in third place and becoming our first state doubles qualifiers since 2000.

Some other highlights for the season included Lily Smittkamp setting a season high of 24 overall wins — a record for the past eight seasons — and Claire Maschino setting a record for doubles wins with 13.

At the banquet in the high school cafeteria, Aydt recognized everyone on the team, handing out numerals and patches for JV players as well as varsity letters and bars for varsity players.

Sophomore Emerson Barrett earned the Most Improved award. After playing one varsity match as a freshman, she improved her overall consistency and shot selection to jump to #4 this season, earning 20 varsity wins.

Lily Smittkamp was the Varsity Points Winner (most varsity wins) this year with 24 total varsity wins with a 12-5 record at #3 singles and a 12-7 record in doubles.

Kimber Calvert and Lily Graham earned co-MVPs after playing number one doubles together for the entire season — as well as the top two singles spots — and qualifying for the state tournament.

Aydt concluded by noting his pride in the team members.

“I’m really proud of this group of girls for stepping up and exceeding expectations,” Aydt noted. “Our seven seniors are the first group of girls I’ve coached to never have a losing season throughout their four years of high school.”

While the Lady Tigers are graduating seven seniors from the team, Aydt said there were no juniors on the team this season.

“So next year will be an opportunity for some younger girls to step up to help continue or string of successful seasons,” he said.