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updated: 4/26/2014 9:17 PM

Libertyville takes crown at St. Charles East

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Ryan Doeckel was in no mood for another lengthy match.

After joining Geneva teammate John Potts for a pair of grueling 3-set matches at first doubles, the Vikings' top tandem held off a second-set comeback from St. Charles East's George Spoerl and Alex Winters for a 6-1, 6-4 victory in the third-place match during Saturday's annual St. Charles East tournament.

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Doeckel and Potts recovered from a 4-6 loss in the first set of their opening match before dropping a tough 7-6, 3-6, 7-10 semifinal decision to Rockford Guilford's Patrick Moore and Ian Brandon-Beeman.

"We felt like we could have beaten them but they're a very good team," Doeckel said of the Rockford duo. "We just had to pick our heads up."

Against the Saints' top doubles team, Doeckel and Potts mustered enough energy to pull through in straight sets.

"We got absolutely exhausted in the first two (matches)," said Doeckel. "We came out and played fairly energetic for what we could. We did not want to split sets."

Overall, the day belonged to Libertyville, which captured the 8-team tourney title with 38 points.

The Wildcats won 4 of 5 championship matches, highlighted by Ben VanDixhorn and Stefano Tsorotiotis at first and second singles, respectively.

VanDixhorn, a junior, did not lose a set all day long as he followed a 6-4, 6-2 semifinal victory over Schaumburg's Dillon Early with a 6-2, 6-1 title triumph over Glenbard West sophomore Nate Dell.

VanDixhorn, whose lone loss this season came at the hands of Lake Forest's Peter Tarwid, was looking forward to facing St. Charles East senior Jasper Koenen in the title match but the Saints' standout spent the weekend on a planned trip to Michigan State University (where he will play collegiately next season).

"I was hoping Jasper was here but it's still a good tournament," said VanDixhorn, who committed to Northwestern 2 weeks ago. "I played well in my finals. I did what I had to do."

Dell reached the finals with a 6-1, 7-5 semifinal win over Rockford Guilford's Christo Alexander.

"There were a few games where I was in it but I was making too many mistakes," said Dell, a returning state qualifier. "Ben's a great player and he's going to use those mistakes and create points. I played a few tough games but he's just a great opponent."

The Hilltoppers took second in the team standings with 26 points.

Fourth-place Geneva (15) also received a third-place finish at second doubles from Brad Burgess and Nick Simone.

Senior Steven Waynick was fourth at second singles for the host Saints, who finished in a fifth-place tie with Wheaton Academy (14).

Waynick suffered a 6-4, 6-4 loss to Timothy Christian's Justin Rhiner in the third-place match.

"Steven usually plays third doubles," said Saints coach Rob Livermore. "He has had a great season so this was a chance to get a senior to play some singles matches. He told me he had a lot of fun out there."

Waynick battled through forearm soreness throughout the latter stages of his third-place match.

"His forearm was cramping up but he fought," said Livermore. "He was down (5-2) and he came back. I'm real happy with how he competed out there."

Livermore came away impressed with Libertyville's performance.

"They played outstanding tennis as a team," said the coach. "I think down the line that Jasper (Koenen) and Ben (VanDixhorn) will cross paths, and their second singles player (Tsorotiotis) is a phenomenal player. He'll be one to watch in future years here."

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