Throughout the school year, the big three male sports oftentimes get the most attention. Many overlook the success of female athletes at Evanston Township High School.
Highlights of the Lady Wildkits’ season started with volleyball and the amazing journey that team took last fall. Packed with senior leaders, the team played consistently throughout the year and took their excellent performance all the way downstate.
The year started in Winnetka with the annual Summer’s End tournament; the Kits had to play a grueling nine matches in 12 days. Despite the packed schedule, Evanston seemed to dominate every team and compiled an 8-1 record, taking first place for the first time in the tournament. Then came wins against Glenbrook South, Loyola and Niles West that put them in serious contention for a conference championship.
The Kits then won the Glenbrook North Discovery tournament, winning seven straight matches. In late September, Evanston had their biggest regular-season win at home against New Trier, winning in straight sets, building some great momentum towards a big playoff run.
The Kits went into the regional matchups of the Class 4A playoffs with a great 25-10 record. They played their opening games in Beardsley Gymnasium, first against Von Steuben: Evanston cruised to a 25-21, 25-14 win that took them to face Maine West in the Regional Championship. The Kits lost the first set, but pulled out the stops on the next two to win Regionals.
In the Highland Park sectionals, Evanston fought off Glenbrook South in three sets to face off against New Trier in the championship. Both teams fought hard in three sets, but Evanston held off the Trevians — winning the last set 25-23 to make it to the Super-Sectionals against Fremd. Evanston this time took care of business early, beating Fremd in straight sets to give the Kits their first trip downstate in team history.
Once downstate, Evanston faced St. Charles East in the semi-final. Evanston took control in the middle of the game, leading by 21-16, but the Saints came back and defeated the Lady Kits 26-24. The Saints clinched the game by winning the next set 25-20. Evanston had to fight in the third-place game against powerhouse Mother McAuley. Evanston never took control as the Macs took the Kits in straight sets 25-16, 25-19, but Evanston ended with a fourth-place finish, their best ever.
They were led all year by Head Coach Pam McPherson, seniors Chelsea Lawrence, Hannah Folz, Elly Knepper, Meghan Morel, and juniors Linnea Lukatch, Jackie Schultz, Ali Gossen and sophomore Delaney Clesen.
While the volleyball team finished a great season, the girls basketball team struggled throughout the season. A few bright spots were two wins against a good Glenbrook South team and giving a good fight in two games against top-ten-ranked New Trier. Evanston finished low in the conference standings and lost in their opening regional match against Maine South, 64-57, finishing their season with a 13-17 record.
As the weather got warmer, it became time for head Coach Marx Succes’s girls soccer team to hit Lazier Field. Evanston started off the brand new season on a great note: They played undefeated in their first ten matches.
Throughout the season, the Kits picked up key wins against conference powerhouses, defeating Glenbrook South 2-1 and Maine South 2-1. Just before regionals started, Evanston fell at home to New Trier 2-0, but the Kits had already picked up the third seed in their own Sectional.
In the opening game in the Sectionals, the Lady Kits dominated Taft, winning 8-0. They went on to face Lane Tech in the Regional Championship. Evanston once again played a solid game in front of their home crowd, winning the crown 4-0. Evanston‘s home rally ended, though, against Loyola in the opening sectional matchup that was tied 1-1 until the game was stopped due to the weather. The game continued the next day and Loyola struck for the deciding goal, winning 2-1, and ending Evanston‘s season.