Helena Klooster of Marist and Orland Park could go deep into the IHSA state tennis tournament even though she is only a freshman. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Helena Klooster of Marist and Orland Park could go deep into the IHSA state tennis tournament even though she is only a freshman. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Girls Tennis | Marist freshman Klooster a player to watch

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By Jeff Vorva
Staff Writer

When Helena Klooster was growing up, she tried a variety of sports and activities.

Dancing and tennis were two of them.

“I didn’t like dance at all,” Klooster said. “I would first have dance and I would head straight to tennis.

“My mom said that I would look super sad in dance. In tennis, I would be ripping balls and I would have a smile on my face.”

The freshman tennis player from Orland Park could put a smile on a lot of faces at Marist, as she is ready to do some damage in her first high school season.

Klooster opened the season by winning the Beverly Hills Tennis Club Invitational, beating all three of her foes 6-0, 6-0, and has been on a roll since.

RedHawks coach Brian Burns may have felt like dancing when he found out Klooster was coming to the Mount Greenwood school.

“I knew a year ago that she was coming because her brother (Jake) was on the boys team,” Burns said. “I heard she was eventually going to be here. I knew how good she was when she was younger in grade school, so I was really happy to hear that.”

Klooster, who is 6-foot-2, is ranked 48th in the nation in her age group by the Tennis Recruiting Network website. She is ranked No. 4 in the Great Lakes Region and No. 2 in Illinois.

“She’s very aggressive and it’s hard to put her on defense,” Burns said. “It’s incredible. She played a match against St. Ingnatius, and I think she was on defense twice the whole match, which is incredible. She knows how to turn it pretty quick.”

Klooster said she loves the challenge of tennis.

“I like that it’s competitive and I prefer individual sports over team sports,” she said. “I’m better by myself. I think it’s the hardest sport there is.

“Individual sports kind of scare people and they go into team sports. They might be anxious being by themselves, but I love it.”

The IHSA postseason could be interesting for Klooster and the RedHawks, as well as the Orland Park tennis community. Marist will be among the teams at the Class 2A Sandburg sectional on Oct. 13-14.

The Eagles have a pair of singles players who are nationally ranked. Senior Maia Loureiro made it to the top 12 in the state her sophomore season, but didn’t play in 2022. Freshman Estela Loureiro also plays for Sandburg.

The Loureiro sisters and Klooster are five-star recruits, according to the Tennis Recruiting Network website.

The state meet takes place Oct. 19-21 at various locations in the West and Northwest suburbs.

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