Boys tennis: Stevenson takes title at Buffalo Grove
Stevenson boys tennis coach Tom Stanhope tweaked his lineup in advance of the Buffalo Grove Bison Invite Saturday, and he watched his moves pay off with the Patriots outscoring runner-up Glenbrook North to lift the championship trophy.
The Patriots used balanced scoring at both singles and doubles to amass 44 points, six more than GBN (38) and nearly 20 over third-place Palatine, which enjoyed a good showing with its 25 points.
"We were without Eric Perkowski so we made a few changes, mostly at doubles, and for the most part, we received some very good results today," said Stanhope.
Perkowski, a state runner-up at doubles a year ago, and this year the Patriots' No. 2 singles, played in a USTA tournament in Columbus, Ohio, leaving a void at his spot in the lineup.
Stanhope led with Zach Kim at No. 1, and the three-time state qualifier beat Jackson Spurck of Palatine, 6-0, 6-0.
Kim's teammate, Ozzie Viswanathan, a state qualifier at doubles last season with Arjun Sheelvanth, went past Palatine's Krishna Tewari for the title at No. 2 singles.
"Jackson is really starting to find his rhythm, while Krishna has improved so much, especially with the mental part of his game," said Palatine coach Jim Lange.
At doubles, the biggest surprise of the day came when the Patriots' new team of Payton Adkisson-Daniel Tulchinskiy stunned the GBN team of Ben Riad-Ethan Park (6-3, 2-6, 6-1) to claim the crown at No. 1.
The Riad-Park team fell one win short of playing in the fifth-place match at state last spring.
"Those guys played mostly at three and two dubs last year, but today, we penciled them in at one and they did a great job," said Stanhope, who may keep them together next weekend at the Pitchford 32.
Host Buffalo Grove would share fourth place with St. Viator (18) points, which brought a smile to the face of Lions coach Amy Ritchie.
"The guys had a strong showing today," she said. "Matthew Manaman (No. 1) and Liam Harding (No. 2) were fourth overall, while the rest of a very young lineup did quite well also."
Connor Flynn was third at three singles, and Nathan Kochera-Matthew Onisschuk went three sets with Buffalo Grove (Lucas Regina-Lukas Januskis) to earn third place at No. 1 doubles."
At Hinsdale Central (Jay Kramer Invite): Defending Class 2A state champion Hinsdale Central showed its overall strength on its home courts by taking home the championship trophy at the annual Jay Kramer Invite.
The Red Devils tuned up for next week's biggest tournament of the season -- the Pitchford 32 -- by finishing 6 points clear of runner-up New Trier (44-39) and 12 ahead of Lyons Township, which earned 33 points.
Mid-Suburban League champion Barrington came in fourth with 30 points, with Neuqua Valley (23) rounding out the top five in a field of eight teams.
"I am very proud of the boys for their victory in the Jay Kramer. It's always a tough tournament, and has been year after year," said Hinsdale Central coach John Naisbitt.
Naisbit was thrilled with the three-set victory of his top man Danny Schmelka, who came back to defeat 2018 state runner-up, Dom Cuchran of Lyons 4-6, 7-5, 10-7 to give the tourney hosts a perfect start to the weekend.
"Both Hinsdale Central and New Trier showed their depth today by finishing on top of the field and in my opinion, it was their ability to win the big points that made the difference between Lyons Township and our team," said Barrington coach John Roncone.
The Broncos continue to impress at No. 3 and 4 doubles, with Aryan Sharma-Ethan Paik taking home second place at No. 3, while teammates Timmy Lowe-Sirun Shroff were third at No. 4.
The Broncos' top pair of Matt D'Amore-Dylan Er came back from a disappointing straight-set loss in the semifinal to eventual champion New Trier (Zipoli-Saltzman) to grab third-place honors.
"We still have a lot of work ahead of us," said Roncone. "A tournament like this helps us measure ourselves up against some of the best and while we had some good moments today, we're still looking to get to send a message we can play with the top dogs."
Naisbitt, on the other hand, could not have been happier about the results his team earned especially Schmelka, who with his win over Cuchran, likely will be a one-two seed at the Pitchford.
"All of our doubles teams played well. We won at numbers two through four so along with Danny's big win and our guys at doubles, we were able to get past New Trier and Lyons," Naisbitt said.
At Chicago Latin Invite: Conant made its annual trip into the northwest side of the city on Saturday in search of its fourth consecutive team championship, but coach Dave Koleno's injury-riddled team fell far short of a repeat performance.
"It was a tough day for us on the lakefront today," admitted Koleno from the Waveland Avenue Tennis Courts.
Conant, without out No. 1 singles player Vera Iyer as well as Shashank Yerraguntia, when it lost on Thursday to division- leading Barrington, was unable to rebound Saturday, finishing sixth overall.
"Our lone highlight on the day was watching freshman Anthony Milas come back from his opening loss to win his last two matches in convincing style," said Koleno.