As equipment was packed up and the results of the meet looked at and talked about, one bit of information surprised no one after Wednesday afternoon's Glenbard West at Wheaton North nonconference boys tennis match.
The fact that the Hilltoppers edged the Falcons 5-4 was par for the course in the history of the competition between these two teams.
"Every time we play Wheaton North, it's a close , competitive match," said Glenbard West coach Jim Valleskey.
The previous tight battles between the teams would be a strong indication that this meet is not a day off from the rigors of conference play. An even stronger indication this year is that both the Falcons and the Hilltoppers are in the Naperville North sectional next month, so results of Wednesday's meet will be discussed when seeding is decided.
"At sectionals there are two singles and two doubles. We won at Nos. 1 and 2 doubles today and No. 1 singles and were competitive at No. 2 singles," Valleskey said.
Glenbard West freshman Nate Dell ran his record to 9-3 with a 6-3, 6-2 victory at No. 1 singles.
"It's just the extra time on the court that I do each week that helps," Dell said of his record. "Today, my return serve was working and the way I was able to control the points was crucial."
The Hilltoppers won four of the five doubles battles. Kenny Reick and Jack Kellenberger won 6-2, 7-6 (7-2) at No. 1, with Mon Kenwood and Henry Shorney prevailing 6-7 (7-5), 7-5, 6-1 at No. 2. The No. 3 doubles pair of Nate Young and Peter Smith won in straight sets 6-3, 6-4. Jacob Koch and Steven Hanna triumphed at No. 4, 2-6, 6-2, 10-7.
After a home meet with Proviso West on Thursday, Glenbard West plays host to a key West Suburban Silver battle Friday against York.
"I think it will be between us and York for fourth place. Hinsdale Central, Oak Park-River Forest and Lyons Township are above us," Valleskey said.
Hinsdale Central is the defending state champion, Oak Park-River Forest tied for fifth at state last season and Lyons Township was 10th.
Wheaton North won three of the four singles matches. Caleb Aulie improved to 8-5 overall by winning his fifth straight match, 2-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) at No. 2 singles.
This spring's weather has bruised up team schedules and bunched up meets on consecutive days, forcing players to stay sharp without the opportunity to fine-tune their games.
"The fact that we haven't had any practice has made me step up my game more," Aulie said.
Nick Wojtyna upped his record to 8-1 with a 6-2, 6-2 win at No. 3 singles, and Jacob Brink captured No. 4 with a 6-0, 6-0 victory.
Wheaton North's lone doubles victory came at No. 5 as William Kostecka and Justin Ali triumphed 4-6, 6-4, 10-5.
"We've been competitive. We've only lost to Lake Park, Naperville North and Glenbard West," said Falcons coach Eric Laird.
Wheaton North plays host to West Aurora on Thursday, followed by Wheaton Warrenville South on Friday.
"I think we can be third in our conference (DuPage Valley). Naperville North and Naperville Central will battle it out for first and second. The match against Wheaton Warrenville South will be a good one to see where we stand," Laird said.