This one's all Stevenson
Stevenson's boys tennis team overpowered an undermanned Libertyville squad 7-0 Thursday afternoon in a North Suburban Lake dual at the Vernon Hills Athletic Complex to run its early season record to a perfect 3-0.
The Pats took full advantage of the absence of the Wildcats' Nos. 1-2 singles -- Ben VanDixhorn and and Stefano Tsorotiotis.
Stevenson senior Colin Harvey led the way with a 35-minute straight sets victory over Brennen Walsh, who was filling in for the Cats' No. 1, VanDixhorn, who was sitting out this contest after tweaking his back last week.
"I was looking forward to playing Colin today, but we decided it was best to take a few more days to get healthy and ready for when things really count," said VanDixhorn, who is on his way to play at Northwestern next fall. "Colin and I will have the chance to play several more times before this season is over, so I'll be ready to go when that comes around."
VanDixhorn and his teammate Tsorotiotis won 10 matches between them in the state tournament last spring, scoring all of their team's 21 points over the three days, good for ninth place in the team standings.
Harvey and then-doubles teammate Andrew Komarov lifted the championship trophy last season, helping the Patriots to a fourth-place team trophy. That recent success has Stevenson of bigger collective goals.
"Winning that state title is something both Andrew and I will always have, but after that championship, what I'd really like to have is for this team to win it all," said Harvey, who for right now is coach Tom Stanhope's No. 1 singles player; Colin's younger brother Matt and his partner Adam Maryniuk are holding down the top spot at doubles.
"This team might have the most talent from top to bottom since I got here four years ago," continued Harvey, a three-time state qualifier. "There's no reason that Adam and Matt can't have a great year as our No. 1, as well as Benjamin (Bush), who is a great No. 2. And we've got all sorts of depth on our roster at doubles, even at Nos. 4 and 5, to put together a strong team for the postseason.
"Right now all of us have to concentrate on getting better during the regular season, but it's exciting to be a part of this team right now."
Sophomore Brian Weisberg, who was the Pats' No. 2 last season behind Bush for most of his freshman season, looked sharp during a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Nihar Phadke.
Adam Teng needed three sets to upend the Cats' Bobby Neil at No. 3 to give the home side a sweep at singles.
At doubles, the Maryniuk-Harvey team defeated the Cats' Scott Daluga/Julian Janczek 6-1, 6-3.
"So far, so good for us, but there's a long way to go," said Maryniuk, who joined Matt Harvey to go 3-2 in their first state tournament appearance together last spring.
"It's a big advantage for us to be back together for the second year in a row, and the chemistry we built last season should go a long way this time around," Matt Harvey said.
The Pats kept the pedal down in doubles, taking straight set victories at Nos. 2, 3 and 4. Sam Komis/Josh Cheng won 7-5, 6-4 at No. 2 against Hao Chen/Mike Gasick, while at No. 3 David Luo/John Kny and No. 4 Kyle Gordon/Ryan Yoo cruised.
The Patriots will compete at the Deerfield Quad this weekend, while Libertyville travels to Mt. Prospect to take part in the annual Knights-Huskies Invite.