From the time preseason practice began Glenbard South boys tennis coach Mark Conrad knew that sophomore Brendan Colgan was the Raiders' No. 1 singles player.
On Monday Colgan continued to justify his coach's faith in him by coming from behind in the first set and then taking control of the second for a 6-4, 6-1 win to help the Raiders maintain their unblemished 8-0 record with a 6-1 win over visiting Addison Trail.
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"Brendan rolled through conference at first singles at the frosh-soph level last year," Conrad said. "And he played all year around, including some junior USTA summer tournaments. He's a singles player and he came in prepared, and from the first day we knew he was our guy. He's got a great attitude and he's already one of our team leaders."
At first singles Colgan goes head to head with some of the top players. His record is around .500, and he has been learning with each match.
"First singles on varsity is a new experience, because I'm facing a lot of guys with great talent," Colgan said. "I'm getting better by playing against better people. I'm learning how to close out the points. I'm hitting harder and keeping opponents deep by hitting the corners."
Monday's win was Colgan's fifth in a row.
"Brendan scraps for every point," Conrad said. "He can pin you deep with his backhand and then get to midcourt for the volley. He doesn't come to the net much, but he can cover the court. He is also a good server and rarely double faults, which is unusual for a young player."
According to Conrad, Colgan does have to work on his slow starts to most matches.
"He gets impatient and tries to finish the point too soon," Conrad said. "Today he was down in the first set and then he settled down and won. And then he took control of the second set."
Colgan's goals for his first varsity season are to keep getting better and to do well in the Metro Suburban Conference Tournament and at sectionals.
The Raiders face Timothy Christian on Tuesday to play for the edge going into the conference tournament. They both have conference records of 3-0.
The only win for Addison Trail (5-8) came at first doubles, where Dan Winterrose and Hemal Patel defeated Rushil Bakhshi and Andrew Fleming of Glenbard South 3-6, 6-5 (10-7)
"I'm proud of the guys," said Addison Trail coach Chris Grice. "They were down in the first set, played aggressively and played some good solid tennis for the comeback. As a team we came out strong and lost some close matches on simple mistakes. Glenbard South is a great team."