Jillian Winer – Quest for a Repeat


Emma Picaro, Contributor

Near the end of the tennis season each year, the best players on each girls tennis team head to Saint John’s High School in Shrewsbury to fight out epic battles for the title of Individual State Champion.

The tournament is an interesting clash of the best girls players in Central Massachusetts, and there is ample room for upsets, as third singles players have the opportunity to play first singles players, based on the draw. To see the draw for this years tournament, visit


Jillian Winer, senior co-captain of the Nashoba Girls’ Tennis Team, has played at this tournament for four years. In the regular season, she has led the team from her first singles position, which she has held for her whole high school career. Even as a freshman, Jillian rarely lost, and this trend continued through her sophomore year, to her junior year, and is culminating in a so far undefeated senior season. Jillian will be attending Trinity College in Connecticut next year to continue her tennis career at the next level.

Jillian’s obvious skill with a racket is topped off with a cool head and quick feet, a deadly combination for any opponent she comes up against. Last year, Winer made a Cinderella run for the Central Mass. Individual Championship. Facing a tough opponent in the final in Algonquin freshman Alexis Almy, Winer pulled through and earned her title as champion. Winer continued onto the state individual final and eventually lost after putting up a tough fight.

This year, ranked the number one seed, Winer had a bye in the first round. Coach Steve Winer believed that the draw was “really really good” and that Jillian “has the opportunity to play some tough opponents, which will be fun challenges to watch.”

In the second round of the tournament, Jillian played Nicole Wynne, a tough fist singles player from Marlborough High School. Jillian came ready to play, and defeated Wynne 6-0 6-0, in a quick match.

In the third round, Winer faced Devyn Jacobs, a tall, athletic first singles player from Northbridge High School. Winer played Jacobs once before in the regular season, and was able to move her around, pulling out a hard fought win. This time, Winer played the first three or four games with some nerves, but once she settled in, managed to defeat Jacobs easily, winning 6-0 6-1.

Jillian wins the first game of her match against Olivia Durocher (Wachusett)

In the the quarterfinal, Winer played Olivia Durocher, first singles player for Wachusett Regional. Jillian played patient, smart tennis, and outlasted Durocher in every point. Although the scores indicate otherwise, the Winer/Durocher matchup is always a fun one to watch. Winer came out victorious, winning 6-1 6-1.

In the semifinals, Jillian Winer took on Jaymie Wei, the first singles player for Shrewsbury High, a competitor she had faced before. The players had to wait out a rain delay until taking the court. Again, Jillian started out playing tentatively until taking control of the game and dominating the scoreboard 6-2 6-1. Because of this win, Winer was given another chance to fight for the title of Central Massachusetts Individual Girls Champion.

Reaching the finals, Jillian played Darby Kim, the number two seed and first singles player for Algonquin Regional. The two had met twice previously, with Winer coming away victorious both times after hard fought matches. This time, the match started out equally, with each player earning two games each. When Winer won her third game of the first set, she never looked back. For the second year in a row, Jillian Winer is the CMASS Girls Individual Champion, emerging victorious in the 2016 final with a score of 6-2 6-2.

Winer’s tournament run was filled with thrilling and masterful playing, showcasing why the senior was seeded number one. Throughout the remainder of the season, Jillian will lead her team from the number one singles position, and should continue to play with the competitiveness she brought in the individual tournament.