Senior Jenny Mizikar recently became the sixth Batavia girls tennis player to surpass 100 career victories. Should she and No. 1 doubles partner Amelia Cogan keep rolling – the pair is 6-0 entering today’s St. Charles East Invitational – Hannah Potter’s school record of 115 wins is well within reach. The landmark was on Mizikar’s radar, she said in the latest edition of the Weekend Chit-chat, but a berth in the state meet next month remains the ultimate goal. Here’s more from Mizikar’s conversation with Kane County Chronicle sports reporter Kevin Druley. The following is an edited transcript:
What’s the feeling about the team the first few weeks out of the gate?
I’m feeling really good. I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season. We’ve had a good start so far. Hopefully, we can just keep working harder. We’re going to be playing some hard teams coming up here soon, so hopefully we can step it up some and get some wins.
The morale around here has been high for some time. Where does that come from?
I think, just especially since we’ve done really well in the past (including three straight Upstate Eight Conference River Division titles), that we want to continue the tradition. We don’t really want to [drop off]. I think we just are all really excited to do well and kind of show the school that, ‘Oh, our tennis team is really good.’
How much were you following the 100-victory mark?
Well, it was always in the back of my head, because at the beginning of the season, I had 90-something – 97, I think. And so I knew and I had my goal that I wanted to. So I knew that it’s a big deal, and I was pretty excited.
And it sounds like Hannah is in your crosshairs, too.
Mm-hmm. Yep. And we’re actually good friends, so. ... I’m trying to beat her record, so hopefully, I get it.
What’s worked well with you and Amelia the past few years?
We’re really close, on and off the court, so our chemistry on the court, we can get along and we know our playing styles. So we know what she’s good at. We know what I’m good at. ... I started playing one year with Kaitlin [Mills] and then she played doubles with Hannah, so this is my third year with Amelia, which also helps because we’ve been playing together for a long time.
Do you keep in touch with Kaitlin?
Somewhat. She’s over at Case Western now, and her mom actually just came to the match [Tuesday against Elgin]. So somewhat.
Any recruiters been knocking on your door?
Yeah. I’m thinking of just going to some smaller [NCAA Division III] schools. I really like [Wisconsin-Whitewater] and some in Michigan and North Carolina. So I have to figure out if I want to stay close or go farther.
How much of the U.S. Open did you watch?
Actually, not much of it because school started and everything. I watched the first day and then the finals. I’m not a big fan of [women’s singles champion Serena Williams], but I guess it’s good for her for doing well.
The team was moved to the St. Charles East Sectional this season and you play at East’s tournament this weekend before the conference dual. What’s the outlook?
There’s going to be some rough teams this weekend, so it’ll definitely help us if we do play East with the sectional. So we need to do our best that match and in the tournament ... It’s always a good challenge.
Is it ever distracting when cars or people pass by the back fence, or are you guys always in the zone?
We’re pretty much always in the zone. There’s always a few people that will sit right behind the fence, but we just try to ignore it and keep playing.