GIRLS TENNIS: Loyola’s first-year head coach Tom Gordon said he expects senior Maggie Hines to make another deep postseason run, even though she’s partnering with a new teammate at No. 1 doubles.

After advancing to the seventh round of the consolation bracket of the Class 2A state tournament last year, the fourth-year varsity player has enjoyed early-season success with junior Lizzie Witkowski. The two are 3-1 entering this week.

Hines qualified for the state tournament the last two seasons with Lizzie’s older sister Caroline Witkowski. Lizzie, a three-year varsity veteran, played doubles at the state tournament a year ago. Her partner, Nicole Morales, graduated.

“Our strength is No. 1 doubles with Maggie and Lizzie,” Gordon said. “They are really strong together. I don’t think being top 10 is out of the question. Lizzie is playing with confidence, but a lot of that is because of Maggie.”

The rest of the lineup is a work in progress, according to Gordon.

Junior Caitlin Ciolek and sophomore Katherine Beard have been battling for the No. 1 singles spot, while sophomores Avery Kaye and Emilia Rosinski are competing at the other two positions.

Behind Hines and Witkowski at doubles are junior Catherine Power/junior Maeve Silk, junior Caroline Paden/junior Alex Ethridge and junior Talia Vasilj and sophomore Kate Cummins.

The Ramblers took 13th at New Trier’s invitational Saturday. In two dual meets, they are 1-1. They lost to Lake Forest in the Aug. 18 season opener and beat Libertyville on Aug. 21.

“We are young and inexperienced,” said Gordon, who has six varsity newcomers on his 12-player roster. “There are a lot of new faces.”

The Ramblers open the GCAC schedule Tuesday at Mother McAuley.

FIELD HOCKEY: Loyola lost to New Trier 4-0 on the road Monday. It was the team’s second consecutive defeat to a state power. On Saturday, the Ramblers lost to defending state champion Lake Forest 4-0. The Trevians took second place last season.

“We are still working on solidifying our formation and are dealing with injuries,” Loyola head coach Annie Nimz said.

Nimz said the Ramblers (2-2) played their best in the first half and trailed 1-0 at the break.

“The offense, mids and defense are worked well together,” she said. “Our passing game looks good. We just need to finish in the circle.”

Loyola plays Glenbard West at home Wednesday before competing at a tournament this weekend.

“We are optimistic for a strong season,” Nimz said.

BOYS GOLF: The Ramblers still aren’t playing their best, but head coach Tim Kane said Saturday was a step in the right direction.

At Warren’s invitational at Bittersweet Golf Club in Gurnee, Loyola finished fourth with a 313. Senior Chip Savarie (pictured above) led the team with a 76, while junior Peter Radler turned in a 77. Senior John Kryscio posted a 77, and junior Ryan Savarie shot 82.

The Ramblers also entered a team at St. Viator’s invitational at Old Orchard Country Club in Mount Prospect. The foursome of Max Raynal (76), Teddy Starr (76), Danny Curran (77) and Michael O’Sullivan (77) combined for 306 to take third place.

“We are not where we want to be, but some of our guys are starting to play better,” Kane said. “They are close to playing very good golf. We still need to work at it to progress to the next level. It’s still August, and there’s still a lot of golf to be played.”

Loyola will split its squad again Saturday as the Ramblers are teeing it up at Buffalo Grove Golf Club and Lake Bluff Golf Club.

Photo credit: Melissa Krein/Loyola