Boys tennis: Stevenson picks up where it left off

 
By Mike Garofola
Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 4/3/2019 10:05 PM

Last season, Zachary Kim and Eric Perkowski, along with then-doubles partner Prathinav Merneedi, provided 22 of the 33 overall points Stevenson earned at the Class 2A state boys tennis tournament.

Those 33 points were good enough to help the Patriots tie New Trier for second place honors, behind state champion Hinsdale Central.

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Kim and Perkowski are going to provide quite the one-two punch at the top of the Patriots' lineup this season and Wednesday afternoon at the Vernon Hills Athletic Complex, the duo helped lead a 7-1 victory over visiting Glenbrook North.

"We have some good young players that we're going to work into our lineup, and with Zach and Eric, and our No. 1 doubles team, we should do well. But we have a lot of work ahead of us," said Pats coach Tom Stanhope.

Kim, who recently committed to attend Northwestern this fall, is coming off a fourth-place finish a year ago at state, and will look to make another run, at the very least, a top 8 finish this season.

The three-time state qualifier defeated Glenbrook North's Ben Riad 6-3, 6-3 after his teammate, Perkowski, needed just under an hour to win in straight sets 6-1, 6-0 over Alex Mushinskiy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I've grown a few inches from last year, so I feel as if I'm stronger, quicker and much better technically since then," suggested Perkowski, who as a freshman along with Merneedi stunned the state doubles field over three days to earn second place honors.

"It's disappointing to see Merneedi playing USTA tennis this spring but for me, I am very comfortable playing singles and after several good wins recently, I feel as if I can have as good a chance as anyone to play for a state title."

Those victories Perkowski spoke of came at the expense of 2018 state runner-up Dominick Cuchran (Lyons), state qualifier Max Sheldon of Hersey, as well as Quentin Nevenhoven, the 9-16 seed from Rockford Auburn.

Seniors Arjun Sheelvanth-Ozzie Viswanathan, who went 3-2 last season at state, will slide over to take on the role as the Patriots' No. 1 team after handling chores at No. 2 a year ago.

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