Powered by the one-two singles punch of boys tennis standouts Peter Tarwid and Brice Polender, visiting Lake Forest defeated Stevenson 5-2 Thursday at the Patriots' home courts on a warm, windy day at the Vernon Hills Athletic Complex.
Tarwid, who was coming off a strong runner-up performance at the Pitchford Invite last weekend, fueled a sweep at singles for the Scouts with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over sophomore Benjamin Bush to get the visitors off and running.
"This was a good win for us because it sets us up well for next week and the conference tournament, and with the team and lineup we have in place, there's no reason why we can't win it all next weekend before making a strong run at Hinsdale Central at the state tournament in three weeks," said Tarwid, who will attend Brown University next fall.
The senior earned the No. 1 seed at this weekend's Deerfield 8 Team Invite.
Freshman Brian Weisberg struggled during the early going against the Scouts' Polender, but the rookie No. 2 for the Pats fired back to give his opponent all he could handle before dropping a 7-5 first set.
"Brian had his trouble with Brice in the first couple of games of the first set, but he showed a lot of determination and desire to get himself back into the match to push one of the top players in the state," said Stevenson coach Tom Stanhope. "So I was really happy with his play today, despite his straight-set loss. Brian has come a long way from that very first week of the season at New Trier, and he'll get another serious test this weekend at the Deerfield Invite."
The Pats' No. 1 doubles team of Colin Harvey and Andrew Komarov were dominant against the Scouts' Scott Christian and Connor O'Kelly in a 6-1, 6-1 victory. Harvey/Komarov improved to 13-2 and are the Deerfield Invite's top seed.
"I had been thinking about this day lately because it's the last time Andrew and I will compete in a regular-season match together here, and his last time to do so at Stevenson," said Harvey. "The more I thought about it, the more emotion I felt about not playing with my best friend next year."
Stevenson's Pitchford runners-up were masterful throughout -- crisp at the net and on their volleys, showing an all-around game which kept the Scouts on the defensive.
"It was one of our better performances, and, of course, it's always nice to beat Lake Forest. But Colin and I both know we could play them again this weekend, and once more at conference, and maybe even state -- so we won't get too excited about this victory," Komarov said.
"Those two were on the top of their game today," Stanhope said of his doubles standouts. "They were aggressive, had a very high percentage with their first serves and on their returns, and both of them were extremely sharp from the very beginning."
The Pats coach also gave high marks to his No. 3 team of Adam Maryniuk and Matt Harvey, who recently lost a challenge match to teammtaes Josh Cheng and Lukasz Jaworski.
"Those guys didn't hang their head after giving up their No. 2 spot, they handled themselves with a lot of class and just went out and did what they could to help their teammates and the team, and that says a lot about both of them," said Stanhope after Maryniuk/Harvey breezed past Ben Kasbeer/ Parker Marsh 6-3, 6-2.
Cheng-Jaworski team had some bright moments in their match with Greg Fravenheim and Jordan O'Kelly, particularly during a very competitive 7-5 first set defeat. But the Scouts went on to win the second set 6-0.