Boys tennis: Wheaton North wins 3rd straight DuKane title
Winning six of the seven championship matches in Saturday's DuKane Conference Tournament, Wheaton North clinched the DuKane Conference title for the third time in a row.
The Falcons swept the four doubles title matches and earned first-place medals in the No. 1 and No. 3 singles championship contests.
Tournament host Wheaton Warrenville South advanced to four title matches -- three against the Falcons -- and came away with second place in all of the contests. The four second-place honors, along with a third- and fourth-place finish, earned the Tigers second place in the conference.
St. Charles North won the only first-place match -- No 2 singles -- that did not feature a Wheaton North player. Jonathan Spicer edged Wheaton Warrenville South's Arian Lagarja 6-3, 6-7, 10-8. The sophomore's win led the North Stars to a third-place team finish.
Batavia came in fourth, after earning five third-place medals.
"We set goals at the beginning of the year. One goal was winning conference. They really took that to heart. We won every conference match; we had some close matches within that. We had a good day yesterday moving six of the seven through," said Wheaton North coach Eric Laird. "We talked to them this morning about finishing strong, finishing with wins at their positions and they all did that."
Going into the tournament, Wheaton North led the conference with 44 dual meet points. The Falcons earned 38 tournament points for a total of 82. WW South finished with 61 total points. St. Charles North notched 32 points, two ahead of Batavia.
Junior Henry Ros won the No 1. singles championship with a 6-2, 6-4 win over North Star Mattas Ciabilis.
"Consistency was the key for me, just finish out the point," Ros said. "My mindset was to get the ball. Every time he hits the ball, grind for the ball, work for the ball. Every point matters, every game matters."
Bharath Sudharsan, Ros' teammate, won No. 3 singles with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over WW South's Max Reinhart.
"Coming in, we would have had to beat them head-to-head. It would have been very hard to catch them," WW South coach Patti Clousing said. "They won every final they were in, so they ran away with the title. Our boys set themselves up to stay in the running and that makes it exciting. They all did a fantastic job. "
The two Wheatons also squared off in the No. 1 and No 2 doubles title matches. The Falcons duo of Niku Cowart and Vaughn Smith edged the Tigers' Carter Gaul and Zach Morton, 6-4, 6-3.
Wheaton North's Will Parrilli and Devon Jones topped Ethan Kim and Michael Johnson, 6-1, 6-1.
"Our first and second doubles are so close in ability. We truly have two top doubles teams," Laird said.
Wheaton North faced St. Charles North in the No. 3 and No. 4 doubles championship matches. The Falcons' CJ Coppoletta and Robert Madoni had one of the most challenging contests, needing three set to best Jackson Match and Kameron Weddle, 2-6, 6-3, 10-3 at No. 3 doubles.
Will Arensen and Henry Hirsch of Wheaton North downed Cole Weddle and Jack Bambales in straight sets (6-4, 6-2) in the No. 4 doubles.
"I think we had a pretty good weekend. Having four of seven places. Our third and fourth doubles played amazing this weekend. They have really stepped it up this year," said North Stars coach Sean Masoncup. "We have two freshmen at four doubles and two juniors at three doubles."
"It was a really close match. We both played well, and, in the end, I took it home," Spicer said about his championship match. "Staying focused and having a positive mental attitude was the key."
Batavia took third place in the No. 2 (Jacob Arulandu) and No. 3 singles (Liam Keane) as well as the No. 1 (Erik Warner, TJ Stras); No. 2 (Hank McClure, Siriam Swanimathan) and No. 3 doubles (Troy Lirot and Noah Johnson).
"We had some tough semifinals on Friday," said Batavia coach Brad Nelson. "It was great to see them bounce back and take third place."