Boys tennis: Fremd turns the tables on Hersey
Just two days after falling in a tournament final to league rival Hersey, host Fremd avenged that 5-2 loss by sweeping all four flights at doubles to defeat the Huskies 4-3 in boys tennis action Monday afternoon in Palatine.
"I was really proud of the performance of my team against a worthy, well coached opponent. It proved to be a true team victory," said Fremd coach Matt Duncan.
"Hersey's singles lineup is a tough egg to crack, so our doubles (teams) needed to really step up and deliver wins, and that's just what they did."
In that Hersey Invite final, it was the Huskies still having the best of it at singles, then splitting at doubles to claim top honors on Saturday in Arlington Heights.
"It came down to Matt's No. 4 dubs team, and when they won in three sets, that gave them the match," said Hersey coach Andy Walton. "Fremd has a really solid overall team and it showed with them winning big at one and four dubs."
Max Sheldon, Dan Gankov and freshman Kasper Pasielak were a little too much for their respective opponents at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 singles, with Sheldon defeating fellow sophomore and 2018 state qualifier, Casey Hishinuma, 6-0, 6-3.
"It took me a little time to adjust to the wind and conditions in that first set, but when I did that and my ability to hit a high percentage of first serves, and (Hishinuma) unable to return them was the difference in our match," said Sheldon.
Duncan would shuffle his doubles lineup around from the one he used at the Hersey Invite, and the move would pay off.
Andrew Yin and Sean Hishinuma, who were state qualifiers last season and who would play at No. 1 last weekend, were moved into the No. 2 doubles spot, with Duncan deploying Arjun Srivasta-Ryan Zheng as his top team on this day.
Both would win in straight sets, Srivasta-Zheng defeating the Huskies duo of Jace Coffaro-Kevin Mi, who after winning a sectional title last spring, went on to go 2-2 at the state tournament.
"We exploited their weaknesses, especially in that second set, and poached more at the line, which I felt made a big difference for us," said Zheng.
"The Vikings were up 4-1 in the second set, only to have the Huskies roar back to make it 4-3 after Mi held serve and they broke the serve of Srivasta, but that was as close as the visitors would get."
"We kind of let them back in by being a little careless in our play, but we bounced back when we needed to," added Srivasta.
"Give Matt's guys credit, they are a solid team, and it showed when they really needed it to," said Walton.