Hannah Press is the lone returning state qualifier for the OPRF tennis team this season, but she’s not the lone senior.

Press, who went 3-2 in doubles action at state last season alongside the now graduated Erinn McKune, returns to lead a bevy of seniors. Margaret Cox, Jessie Goldberg, Margaret Hobin, Faith Masi, Abbie Nicholas and Grace Stoffer are all back for their final high school tennis seasons. Press is to play doubles again, but with who is still up in the air. As of last week, head coach Fred Galluzzo had yet to solidify any players in one particular spot permanently.

What is for certain is that the West Suburban (Silver) Conference will again be a difficult challenge for the Huskies. Defending state champ Hinsdale Central, Lyons Township (tie for sixth at state last season) and Glenbard West all return top tennis players.

Galluzzo is likely to rely heavily on a talented junior crop this season. Ese Davis, Julie Klock, Kate McCole, Meg Ramette and Audrey Springer all have the potential to make an impact. Sophomores Emma Forman, Hannah Meyer and Alison Zelby are also expected to see significant time competing at the varsity level.

Freshman Samantha Schaefer has already taken a turn at competing at No. 1 singles, and could alternate between that and doubles action.

“We do expect to do better in both conference and at state this year,” said Galluzzo, whose team finished fifth in conference last season. “The conference will come down to Hinsdale, Lyons and Glenbard West and I think we can finish behind these schools. If our juniors improve rapidly, we may be better off for the sectional tournament.”

The Huskies will again compete on their home court for sectionals in mid-October.

OPRF hosts cross-town rival Fenwick today (Wednesday, Sept. 9, 4:30 p.m.) and welcomes conference foe Downers Grove North on Sept. 10 (4:30 p.m.).

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Brad Spencer

Brad Spencer has been covering sports in and around Oak Park for more than a decade, which means the young athletes he once covered in high school are now out of college and at home living with their parents...