What might have seemed like a tough, intense boys tennis match on paper turned out to be a fun, relaxing day for both Neuqua Valley and Naperville North on Tuesday at Naperville North.
Coming off conference tournaments and having sectionals this weekend, the two teams changed up their lineups. The Wildcats knocked off the Huskies 6-2.
"Today went great," Neuqua Valley coach Trudy Bennorth said. "I was really proud of the boys, and a lot of my boys are equal. You can change them, (have) different partners, and they're used to playing different positions and some of them are even great moving from singles to doubles. So we just had a really great season."
Even though Naperville North (11-4) kept its No. 1 singles and No. 1 doubles pairing from the weekend, Neuqua still found success mixing up the top of its lineup.
At No. 1 singles Amit Iyer of Neuqua Valley will be taking momentum into sectionals after defeating Aneesh Natarjan 6-4, 6-2.
At No. 1 doubles the new pairing of sophomore Brett Meyers and freshman Jackson Keating defeated the usual partnership of the Huskies' Kirk Williams and Rohit Rastogi 6-4, 6-4.
"We switched it up a little bit. This is the second time me and Jackson have played together," Meyers said. "It was a little hard at first. We didn't really communicate, then once we got the hang of it we played really good. Our returns were really good and we played aggressive at the net."
Finishing with a 23-1 record, Keating believes the Wildcats will show well at sectionals and hopefully state.
"I definitely feel confident about the team…," Keating said. "With singles and doubles I think we're pretty good for sectionals right now. I'm hoping we can do great at state too."
The Wildcats earned success at the No. 2 singles and doubles spots and at No. 4 and No. 5 doubles, but for Naperville North coach Heather Henrickson, the day was all about relaxing and having fun.
"Our guys have been playing the same lineup the entire season and they've enjoyed that, but they also wanted a day to kind of have fun… ," Henrickson said. "Those things are important at this point and time in the season.
"They had a tough conference tournament and so sometimes your mind just needs a break and you need to find the fun in it again and just be able to play loose."
The Huskies took victories at No. 3 singles, where Jared Williams defeated Haydan Sass 6-4, 7-6, and at No. 3 doubles, where normal singles player Jake Kokoris teamed up with Charlie Machk for a 6-4, 6-4 win.