Bush, Stevenson rise to another NSC occasion
Taking control of the North Suburban Conference boys tennis tournament is starting to be an annual event for Stevenson.
The Patriots netted another NSC title on Saturday, topping Lake Forest 38-28.5 for the top spot in the event hosted by Wauconda and completed at the Vernon Hills Athletic Complex. Warren edged Libertyville 23.5 to 23 for third place.
Jeremy Bush of Stevenson was victorious over Warren's Kristiyan Trukov in straight sets for the No. 1 singles championship, and the Patriots captured all three of their doubles matches over the Scouts.
"Lake Forest is a good team, and they're down a couple of players," Stevenson coach Tom Stanhope said. "I thought their guys stepped up and played pretty well, but it shows the team commitment that our guys have had from the very first day of tryouts. That's our team commitment, to pull this through."
Stevenson used very windy conditions to its own advantage.
"The wind is their friend, and they know it," Stanhope said. "It's something that we always talk about, not letting the weather conditions get us down. We're already battling enough good teams. We don't want to battle the weather conditions, so the wind is our friend."
Bush beat Trukov for the third time this spring in a competitive rivalry, prevailing 6-3, 6-3.
"It gets tougher each time," Bush said. "Since I beat him the last couple of times, I know I can beat him again. But at the same time, I get worried that (Trukov) can step up his game.
"It all started last year when he beat me at conference. I really wanted to win it this year. It started to get really competitive over the last two years."
Bush said his alliance with the elements was one key in the outcome.
"The conditions were extremely tough — probably the windiest conditions I've ever seen," said Bush, who finished third in state last year as a junior. "Both of us were playing really well. I like the wind because I can do things with it to my advantage."
Trukov knows that he can play with Bush, but he has things to work on in advance of another meeting.
"He's gotten the best of me this year," said Trukov, who will be at Marquette next year. "Today the conditions were tough trying to keep the balls in play. (Bush) just played better than me.
"The fact that it was a crosswind made it a lot tougher. It goes into your body or away from you. If it's up and down the court, you swing earlier or later. It was the same for both of us, so it's not an excuse. He's a good counter-puncher and defender. I just have to put balls away."
Libertyville's Benjamin VanDixhorn defeated Ismael Kadyrov 6-4, 6-6 (3-2) by default for third place.
At No. 2 singles, Brice Polender of Lake Forest beat Benjamin Bush of Stevenson 6-1, 6-3. In the third-place match, Libertyville's Eric Klein defeated Lake Zurich's Nick Jordan 6-1, 6-1.
In doubles, the first Stevenson duo of Colin Harvey and Andrew Komarov got by Bagheri and O'Kelly of Lake Forest 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 and Jack Springgate/Scott Daluga of Libertyville beat Matthew Matheny/ Samuel Gudeman of Warren 6-3, 6-1 for third place.
At second doubles, Josh Lieberman and Pawel Jaworski of Stevenson defeated Greg Frauenheim and Jordan O'Kelly of Lake Forest 6-3, 6-, and Warren's Ben Hardiman and Ben Skelton edged Libertyville's
Adam Grabowski/Adam Daluga 6-3, 4-6, 7-5.
Stevenson's Adam Maryniuk and Rudy Viswanathan won No. 3 doubles over Lake Forest's Parker Marsh and Craig Campbell 6-2, 6-3. In the third-place match, John Westerberg and Neil Shah of Warren defeated Alex Winters/Julian Janczak 6-1, 7-6 (8-6).
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