Boys tennis: Barrington's Yu, Schaumburg's Eberhardt/Brito thrive in familiar settings
Who says there's no such thing as homefield advantage in tennis?
Bradley Yu of Barrington and Schaumburg's dynamic duo of Kevin Eberhardt and Max Brito remain the only Mid-Suburban League players alive in high school state tournament play after using their home courts to register important backdraw victories.
Yu, a freshman, bounced back in style from a tough second-round defeat to win on Broncos turf, while the Eberhardt-Brito team did likewise at Schaumburg.
Yu (22-7), the MSL champion Yu, will be at Wheeling Friday morning.
The Schaumburg tandem takes on Springfield's Raj Sinha/Shaul Latif.
"Bradley played real well today," said Broncos coach John Roncone. "I think all of us are excited about tomorrow for Bradley, and as we've said the last couple of weeks, his future looks very good, as does our program with a very nice good group of young players coming back."
Second-seeded Jack Randall (Lockport, 31-0) will be among a star-studded class at tourney host Hersey for the singles quarterfinals, which feature a handful of key matches that may sway the final point totals in what promises to be a tight race for the team trophy on Saturday.
Glenbrook North and Naperville Central have 15 points to begin the second day 1 point ahead of Stevenson and New Trier and 3 points clear of Hinsdale Central.
There will be several head-to-head contests at both singles and doubles, where the battle for extra points given to front draw winners may ultimately decide the state champion.
Schaumburg's doubles team had the wind in its sails after its state opener victory over Evanston in straight sets but ran into a brick wall with 5-8 seed Hinsdale South (Peter Alex/Namit Sambare), who sent the Saxons into the backdraw following a 6-1, 6-2 decision.
"Once the guys got warmed up in that first one, they were off an running," said Saxons coach Jon Schaefer. "Despite them being loose and ready, Hinsdale had it all -- but credit Kevin and Max for staying up, even in defeat."
There will be no second day for the rest of the area players who had their moments, but in the end, were unable to get through.
Conant could not sustain the momentum it built from winning its third consecutive sectional title last weekend with its fans watching all four teams eliminated at two different venues.
On their home courts, Mike Kim/Arjun Rao (21-12) went 0-2, while sectional champs Nico Rosas/KaahanMontwani (17-3) saw their sensational season come to an abrupt end with two losses at Schaumburg.
The Cougars' top players at singles, Vera Iyer (19-7) and Andrew Milas (18-12), are also done after each went 1-2 on the day.
In the 1A tournament, St. Viator, competing at state for the first time in nearly 10 years, went 2-4. The Lions' Kyle Borst (14-15) recorded his lone victory at Hoffman Estates, while his teammates at doubles, Nick Gattuso/Jack Aiello did likewise at Palatine.
"My first-round opponent was very good -- he made all the shots and was able to counter whatever I tried to do," said Borst, who won his next contest in straight sets before falling in his third. "But it's still great to be here in my senior year."
Gattuso/Aiello (19-11) opened with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Oak Forest before dropping their next two, the first coming to 3-4 seed Dunlap (Steven Chacko/David Wu) who improved to 22-5 overall.
"They had the shots and the answer for everything we tried to do, but the experience just playing against a really good team was good for both of us," said Gattuso.
All 2A championship draw play will be at tourney host Hersey on Friday, while both Conant (doubles) and Hoffman Estates (singles) welcome consolation play throughout the day.
In the team race, Naperville Central has a leg up on Glenbrook North as it brings all four of its entrants into action Friday, including 3-4 seed Ryan Roegner and his teammate at singles, freshman Kevin Li, who bounced back from a second-round defeat to win his consolation opener.
"We told Kevin just to win the matches he should win, and that's all we ask, because the points you earn in the back-draw will go a long way in our bid to win a state title," said Naperville Central coach Dan Brown.
In the 1A team race, Latin, Benet Academy and Normal U-High are all in the picture, with Latin holding a 1-point advantage over the others.