John Tsang enjoyed his afternoon at his old stomping grounds on Saturday in Aurora.
The West Aurora product could only enjoy the latest string of victories for his Marmion tennis team as the squad remained perfect on the season in winning the eight-team bracketed Blackhawks’ boys tennis invitational.
Marmion (10-0) blanked West Aurora in the opening match before narrowly escaping St. Charles East in the semifinals with a 3-2 victory.
Pitted against first-time entrant Conant in the championship, the Cadets won two of the three doubles matches and both singles events to win 4-1.
“This is a good tournament for us,” Tsang said. “You find out what you need to improve on going into the championship season. Conant is a good team.”
John King belied his age for Marmion as the freshman had few issues against his Conant counterpart in winning in straight sets, 6-1 and 6-4, at first singles.
“I thought I moved the ball very well,” said King, a Geneva resident. “I thought my serve got better with all the matches. I was excited to come in as a freshman to see if I could impact the team.”
Sophomore David Demoll earned the Cadets’ second victory in singles but had to go the distance in turning back Conant senior Parth Sisodiya.
“I just outlasted him,” Demoll said of his 13-11 victory in the third-set tiebreaker.
Marmion underclassmen Alex Winters and Colin Jones captured their third doubles match against Conant, and the duo of Ricky Angsten and Luke Hoss prevailed at second doubles, winning in a tiebreaker, 10-5.
The Cougars’ lone win came when first doubles mates Peter Itskovich and Connor Sacks, both of whom have state tournament experience, won 6-2, 7-6 (13-11).
“We finally got our act together,” Itskovich said.
“No one was able to hold serve,” Sacks said of its defining feature.
“We had lots of tie-breaks,” Conant coach Amar Patel said. “We won most of them. Unfortunately, the last dual (against Marmion) we lost both of the tiebreakers.”
South Elgin gained a measure of redemption against St. Charles East in the third-place match at West Aurora.
After dropping an Upstate Eight Conference crossover match on Wednesday, the Storm regrouped to win all three doubles matches to place third with a 3-2 win.
Randy Felker and Sig Somsarath tipped the balance for South Elgin with their triumph at third doubles, winning in straight sets at 6-3 and 6-4.
“I’m sure we will see them again,” South Elgin assistant coach Bret Anderson said. “They beat us on Wednesday. It was a nice little comeback.”
Francis Manzano and Anyosh Patel improved to 21-7 on the season with their victory at first doubles for the Storm.
The Saints did have the two standout singles performers, however, in Jasper Koenen and Justin Bowman.
Koenen dropped a mere 4 games in three totals matches in three one-sided victories, and Bowman extended his season-long unbeaten streak to 20 matches at second singles for St. Charles East.
“I thought I played my game really well today and dictated my game,” Koenen said. “My backhand is the strongest part of my game.”
The Saints’ two-time state qualifier, a junior, is 20-1 on the season.
Bowman dropped a game each in his straight sets victory against South Elgin.
“The strongest part of my game today was my attitude,” Bowman said.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.