WESTERN SPRINGS — It’s been four long years, but a Reisch is once again running around the tennis courts at Lyons.
Freshman Joie Reisch watched her four older sisters — Jenna (28), Jamie (27), Erica (23) and Alexis (21) — play for the Lions and now it’s finally her turn.
“I’ve loved tennis since I was little,” said the 15-year-old Joie Reisch. “I played with my sisters a lot and I remember coming to their meets here at LT since I was little. I’ve always wanted to play here so I was really glad to be on the [varsity] team this year.”
Reisch has jumped right into a crucial role for Lyons, playing No. 2 doubles with junior Sophie Allison. The duo teamed up to beat Nazareth’s Addie Doyle and Abby Shannon 6-1, 6-0 Wednesday in a nonconference dual meet. The Lions defeated the Roadrunners 8-0.
“We just kept the ball in play and had fun,” Reisch said. “We stayed positive, didn’t get down on each other and brought each other up.”
After so many years of playing singles, adjusting to doubles has been a bit difficult for Reisch.
“I think I might be better at singles right now because I haven’t played a lot of doubles, but after this season I’m much better than when I started,” Reisch said.
Lyons coach Bill Wham has coached all five Reisch sisters and sees a big difference with Joie.
“They’ve all been good players with different abilities but Joie, as a freshman, is bigger than any of the other Reisches,” Wham said. “She has a lot of potential and a lot of athletic ability. Jenna went to UIC on a full ride and played collegiate tennis and Joie has that same potential. As a freshman in high school, that’s a pretty good evaluation.”
Joie Reisch doesn’t mind being compared to her sisters and she’s trying to do her best to represent the family name in her first season.
“I get asked about them a lot but it’s really cool and I love it a lot,” Joie said. “I’m definitely working hard [to be the best Reisch]. I’m working hard to get to state this year and then do well. And I want to keep improving.”
Joie Reisch gets to see one of her sisters on a regular basis. Jenna Reisch is an assistant coach for the Lions.
Getting coached by her oldest sister isn’t always the easiest thing to handle but she still appreciates it.
“I enjoy her comments,” Joie Reisch said. “Sometimes it can be frustrating since she’s my sister but most of the time I like her feedback.”
“She listens but it’s always tough to be a freshman on a varsity team,” Jenna Reisch said. “I’ve been through it and it can be challenging. She tries hard and has worked so hard during the summer.”
The duo played in a USTA tournament in Aurora last winter.
“We did really well together and she learned a lot,” Jenna Reisch said. “With doubles it’s about being able to poach and communicate on the court.”
Lyons will compete in the West Suburban Silver meet at Downers South on Friday and Saturday, before hosting a 10-team IHSA Sectional on Oct. 17-18.