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updated: 5/29/2014 10:39 PM

Buffalo Grove duo makes the grade

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  • Alan Fijalkowski of Buffalo Grove competes during Day 1 of the boys tennis state tournament on Thursday at Hoffman Estates.

       Alan Fijalkowski of Buffalo Grove competes during Day 1 of the boys tennis state tournament on Thursday at Hoffman Estates.
    Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
By Mike Garofola
Daily Herald Correspondent

After match point, you had to know something good had just happened when Peter Georgiades practically broke the 100-meter record with his mad dash into the building at Buffalo Grove.

The Bison senior couldn't wait to get inside to tell a teacher that both he and doubles partner Anton Levitin had just stunned favored Thomas Hanley/Wyatt Mayer of New Trier in three sets to earn a spot in today's round of 16. It's the first time a player or team from BG has advanced that deeply in the boys tennis state tournament since 2008.

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"Peter is kind of happy right now," smiled Levitin in the understatement of the year.

The Bison tandem (30-4), which earned a 17-32 tournament seed, next meets a 3-4 seed, David Zakhodin/Miguel Perez of Glenbrook North (26-5) in the championship bracket when doubles play resumes at 9 a.m. Friday at Buffalo Grove. Those who advance move over to tourney host Hersey to join the chamionship singles field in day No. 2 of the tournament.

"New Trier is always very good, so it took us a full set to sort a few things out, then put a plan of attack together to really go at them in that second set," said Levitin, who joined Georgiades in winning a No. 1 doubles title in the Mid-Suburban League tournament two weeks ago. "We saw what their weakness might be and tried to attack them were they weren't that strong. But with that said, we still found ourselves in a little bit of trouble in that second set until we pulled ourselves together and went right at them."

"We were up 4-3 in that second set," said Georgiades. "Then suddenly it was 4-5 (0-40) with Anton serving.

"But Anton cranked up a couple of big-time serves to get us back even, then later I served out for the match, and after that, I felt like that third set was all ours."

In that third and deciding set, the Bison were up 4-3, and on serve with Georgiades.

Three deuce games finally went in favor of the hosts, with Levitin hitting a winner at the net to make it 5-3 before the pair cemented their spot in Friday's big match.

Rolling Meadows sophomore Mack Galvin and Barrington's top doubles team of Ishaan Jaglan-Scott Apmann both claimed a pair of victories, at the Rolling Meadows and Barrington venues. But the third round sent all into the consolation bracket.

Galvin (35-5) played with plenty of confidence during his first two wins on his home courts, but then ran into 3-4 seed Ben VanDixhorn (32-4) and saw his hopes of a second straight round of 16 appearance dashed by the Libertyville junior.

"Ben is big and strong, and he just never seems to miss much -- he was the better player in our match," said Galvin, who showed a lot of class and respect even in defeat. "I'll be back and ready to go tomorrow, and will look forward to going deep into the tournament."

Galvin is the lone MSL singles player still alive and will meet Brett Meyer of Neuqua Valley in Wheeling at 8 a.m.

Fremd's Eric Pohl (20-12) saw his superb career end on his own courts against Amit Iyer of Neuqua Valley in staight sets. The Vikings star won four straight MSL titles, including one at singles, and was a three-time state qualifier.

Conant senior Connor Sacks and teammate Matt Meyers fell in straight sets at Elk Grove High School.

"If we could have gotten that match into a third set, who knows what could have happened?" asked Sacks, making his third state tournament appearance. "But Matt and I came back to win our next match to stay alive. At this point, he and I will do our best, still try to have some fun while getting points for the team."

Jaglan/Apmann (12-7), given a 17-32 by the seeding committee, validated that estimation with an early breakthrough at home that inlcuded victories over Carbondale (6-0, 6-0) and McHenry (6-3, 6-1) before running into 5-8 seed Max Gordon/David Aizenberg of Highland Park. The Broncos duo fell 6-1, 6-0.

"The boys came out strong, no doubt inspired by playing at home and in front of their friends and families," said Barrington coach John Roncone, "but that No. 1 team from HP proved too strong for us. Gordon is a fine player, and Aizenberg is a terrific complementary player to Max. They should have a chance to go pretty far the next two days."

Roncone's tandem next meets a quality pair from Geneva (Ryan Doeckel-John Potts) Friday morning at Palatine in the backdraw.

In the team race, it's defending champion Hinsdale Central in front, tied with North Suburban Conference champ Lake Forest with 24 points each. Surprising New Trier is right there with 22 points, followed by Highland Park and Glenbrook North at 18.

There will be only two championship rounds played today, while the consolation bracket will roll on throughout the day at various Mid-Suburban League sites.

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