After winning the 1A doubles girls tennis state championship in 2019, Benet Academy senior Kaitlyn Lee can’t wait to return to the state’s biggest stage this fall. This Player Profile is presented by LifeStance Health.
There have been some phenomenal girls tennis players in the area in recent years. Standouts like Meera Baid from Metea Valley, Tiffany and Irene Zhang from Naperville North and Daniella Nenadovich from Benet Academy all graduated this spring after decorated careers. But one state champion high school tennis players is back on the court this fall and that is Benet senior Kaitlyn Lee.
Back in 2019, Lee and doubles partner Kendall Schroeder ran through the 1A state tournament en route to the first doubles state championship in Redwing history. A sophomore that season, the calm and collected Lee paired perfectly with Schroeder, a boisterous and enthusiastic senior. It was the kind of match that Benet head coach Michael Hand knew had the makings of a great duo.
Following Schroeder’s graduation, Lee returned to doubles play last season with fellow junior Felicity Kolb. Despite having a new partner, Lee and Kolb had great success on the hardcourt as well, going undefeated in ESCC conference play. There was no state tournament due to COVID, so once again Lee finished her season with a doubles championship win at the St. Francis 1A sectional.
Now entering her senior season, Kaitlyn Lee may not ever be the energetic spark plug that Schroeder was, but she knows what needs to be done to be at her best on the court.
At the moment Lee is playing doubles once again, this time filling the seasoned veteran role while freshman Clare Lopatka is the plucky newcomer. Benet will face a greater challenge by moving up to class 2A this fall, but Kaitlyn Lee and the Redwings are eager for the chance to return to state competition.
For Naperville Sports Weekly, I’m Justin Cornwell.