In two seasons at Marist, junior Molly Malloy has always been a doubles player.
She never ventured over to the singles side—until this year.
In addition to competing during this an up-and-down tennis season, Malloy also added to her tennis resume by switching to singles this year.
Helping host Marist to a 3-2 nonconference dual on Sept. 17 over St. Ignatius, Malloy won 6-0, 6-3 in her match at No. 1 singles.
“It was shocking at first, playing singles instead of doubles,” Malloy said. “I’ve only ever played doubles here at Marist. I knew I needed to change and play both for college and for the future. It’s a good thing to have. You have that stamina and can run a lot. I like moving all over the court.”
Malloy (Beverly, St. John Fisher) played the last two seasons on the doubles side with Sonya Dremak, including qualifying for the state tournament last year.
Dremak (Mt. Greenwood Elementary) is similarly making the most of her jump to the singles side, claiming a 6-1, 6-0 victory over St. Ignatius at No. 2 singles.
Dremak played singles as a youngster and in her freshman year before switching to doubles in her sophomore season.
She’s quickly regaining a feel for singles play.
“It’s been tough, a little bit, but not as much as I expected,” Dremak said. “Growing up I was a singles player. It’s going back a few years since I’ve played. I try and adjust to the sudden switch. You make them quick and help to get things done.”
Marist has now defeated St. Ignatius and Joliet Catholic in dual meets and lost to Latin and Nazareth. A dual with rival Mother McAuley was originally postponed because of excessive heat and then was called on the make-up date due to heavy rain.
Marist’s third win over St. Ignatius came from the No. 3 doubles team of senior Kali Case and junior Bridget Danaher with their 6-1, 6-2 win.
Juggling her singles and doubles lineup from match to match, Marist Coach Nicole Selvaggio has a simple goal for her team: become well-rounded tennis players.
“This season is all about making adjustments and being adaptable,” Selvaggio said. “Giving doubles players a chance to play singles, it’s going to help them get recruited. It’s a different chance to help the team and a different opportunity to play.”
The RedHawks have East Suburban Catholic Conference (ESCC) dual meets remaining with St. Viator, Marian Catholic, Benet and Carmel. The schedule also features the ESCC meet at Benet and the still unscheduled localized competitions that will replace the usual state series.
As schedule details are finalized in the coming weeks, Selvaggio wants her team to remain level-headed, control what they can and just play tennis.
“In a topsy-turvy season, it’s a great opportunity to show them that tennis is tennis,” Selvaggio said. “You can play anywhere, be successful and have fun doing it. The opportunity to play and stay safe while we play, we’re happy to play anyone we’re allowed to play.”
With the rest of the season still up in the air, Malloy said she’s been impressed by how the team has dealt with this year’s uncertainties.
“It’s gone pretty well. We’ve had some wins and losses, but we’re still adjusting,” Malloy said. “We’re getting comfortable in our spots. We’re a good team together and get along well. We’ve got that camaraderie and cheer each other on.”