After finishing 11-11 last season the Glenbard West boys tennis team started this season campaign with a 7-0 win over an inexperienced Glenbard North team.
The Hilltoppers didn't allow a point in the No. 1 and No. 2 singles matches, and the No. 1 doubles pairing of junior Matt Lipnica and senior Peter Smith only allowed one point in the entire match.
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"Well, with the schedule we play if we have a winning record we'll have a good year," said Glenbard West coach Jim Valleskey. "Last year we finished fifth behind York. It would be nice to move up a spot. We won't challenge for the top three, so that will be a nice finish for us in (the West Suburban Silver), fourth place."
In singles sophomore Nate Dell -- Glenbard West's state qualifier last season -- took down Panthers senior Kevin Lim 6-0, 6-0.
"He's really put in a lot of time in the off-season," Valleskey said. "From what I've seen this season he's so much stronger. He really worked a lot on his conditioning and physical aspects, so I think that will carry him a long way this year."
Winning performances from juniors Steven Hanna and Jack Nabholz at No. 2 and No. 3 singles helped Glenbard West sweep singles, with Hanna winning 6-0, 6-0 and Nabholz winning 6-1, 6-2.
The Hilltoppers also swept the doubles matches led by Lipnica and Smith. Lipnica -- who is coming back from a knee injury -- was moved to doubles in hopes of giving Glenbard West more stability.
"I just came back from an injury this year and this is my first time playing doubles, so it was a learning experience for me," Lipnica said. "But (Peter) is a great partner and I feel like we'll just get stronger throughout the rest of the season."
After graduating 10 of his top players from last seasons team, Panthers coach Doug Clark knows it will take time and patience for this Glenbard North side to find some success.
"Nine of 11 kids who played today have never played varsity tennis before, so it's a learning experience," Clark said. "We've had a tough spring, so we really haven't had a lot of practice time, especially with doubles, so it's going to be a growing year for us. A lot of growing pains in that too."