Boys tennis / State tournament scouting
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Where: First two days at all Mid-Suburban League venues (except Conant); Saturday's championship rounds at Hersey beginning at 9 a.m.
Top eight seeds (in order)Singles: Martin Joyce (Hinsdale Central, 23-0), Peter Tarwid (Lake Forest, 23-1), Jasper Koenen (St. Charles East, 25-0), Ben VanDixhorn (Libertyville, 29-4), Eddie Grabill (Hinsdale Central, 30-2), Will Koehrsen (Metamora, 29-1), Stefano Tsorotiotis, Libertyville, 24-3).
Doubles: Hinsdale Central (Lope Adelakun-Chase Hamilton, 17-0), Stevenson (Colin Harvey-Andrew Komarov, 22-3), Morton (Grant Reiman-Trent Reiman, 31-0) Edwardsville (Jack Desse-Logan Ware, 29-0), Glenbrook North (David Zakhodin-Miguel Perez, 23-5), Highland Park (Max Gordon-David Alzenberg, 18-8), New Trier (Corey Schwartz-Alex Galoustian, 3-0).
Singles scene:The reigning state champ, Joyce, grabs his second consecutive top seed following another superb regular season that included the title run at the Pitchford. Tarwid was an easy choice as the other half of the 1-2 seed after finishing up with wins at the Deerfield Invite, North Suburban tournament and Warren sectional. After the top two, the choice between several came down to several key points. Grabill's camp could have made a case for a top four seed as his two losses of the year were to Joyce, and his state doubles title partner from a year ago. Off of his marvelous sixth-place finish here last May and perfect-so-far season this spring, Koenen easily earned a 3-4 seed. The impressive nonconference schedule by VanDixhorn appears to have been enough for the Wildcats junior to stay ahead of Koensen and Tsorotiotis.
Doubling down: In the precursor to the state tournament, Adelakun-Hamilton took a hard-fought three-setter from Harvey-Komarov at Stevenson to all but ensure its top seed here, but the Central pair does not hold the same dominant position as teammate Joyce, who is clearly the man to beat over the next three days. This year's field boasts plenty of talent, but there's room for movement all the way to the top. Edwardsville has been all over the state, so the Tigers tournament schedule speaks volumes on its body of work, and while Morton has stayed in central Illinois for most of the season, its two-year record is dazzling nonetheless. Glenbrook North and Highland Park are proven and have played all of the best competition this spring, while the New Trier team is somewhat of a surprise after being placed together just before sectionals in the hope that a less than 100 percent healthy Galoustian can carry the Trevians into the third day.
Local flavor:Singles: 17-32 seed: Benjamin Bush (Stevenson, 23-12), Mack Galvin (Rolling Meadows, 33-4) plus Alan Fijalkowski (Buffalo Grove, 18-11), Eric Pohl (Fremd, 18-10), Braden Ward (Antioch, 20-7), Kevin Hunt (Carmel, 20-4), Miguel Tolentino (Grayslake Central, 25-9).
Galvin nearly broke into the 9-16 field after another a sensational sophomore campaign, while Pohl enters the record books at Fremd after earning a fourth consecutive tournament appearance. Carmel junior Kevin Hunt gets a much deserved first trip here after qualifying out of the high-profile Stevenson sectional, and BG's senior (Fijalkowski) becomes the first Bison singles player to compete here since Jonah Schwartz did so in 2008. Antioch's sophomore makes it two in a row under the guidance of his coach, former Grayslake North star, Neil Lesinski, as does Bush.
9-16 seed Stevenson (Matt Harvey-Adam Maryniuk, 18-4); 17-32 seed Buffalo Grove (Peter Georgiades-Anton Levitin, 27-4), Vernon Hills (David Dobrik-Nikita Lunkov, 26-5), Barrington (Ishaan Jaglin-Scott Apmann, 10-6) plus Warren (Neil Shah-Scott Seiler, 18-6), Warren (Samuel Gudeman-John Westerberg, 18-14), Conant (Connor Sacks-Matt Myers, 7-2), Maine West (Patrick Czuj-Henry Nguyen, 14-5).
Plenty of two-time qualifiers in this group, albeit all but Buffalo Grove with a new partner this time around. Sacks is here with his third different player, as Gudemann joins three-time qualifier Sacks. while Maryniuk and Dobrik welcomed their second partner this season to earn a second state trip. No doubt a victory over 5-8 seed Glenbrook North helped solidify Barrington's 17-32 seed, while the No. 2 team from Stevenson, Harvey-Maryniuk, emerged as a strong presence during the second half of the season.
Team raceDespite the decision by Michael Lorenzini to leave his team just before the Jay Kramer Invite, the Red Devils still have enough firepower to win a third consecutive state title. Joyce and Grabill could very well play into the third day of competition, giving Central 24 points (alone) from those two. That alone is likely more than any other club aside from Lake Forest can amass over three full days of scoring -- and that does not include points from its doubles teams.over three days. Stevenson, New Trier, Edwardsville, Highland Park and Glenbrook North, in no particular order will fight to see who walks away with the third-place trophy, and the next two coveted spots.
-- Mike Garofola