Boys tennis: Batavia's Pierce falls to top seed Cuchran
Brogan Pierce will now turn his attention toward earning a state medal back through the consolation bracket after the Batavia star lost his third round match Thursday to top seed Dominic Cuchran at the Class 2A state tennis tournament.
The Bulldogs junior, now 33-3, fell in straight sets to the 2018 state runner-up after a three hour plus victory over Ben Mitchell set up his meeting with Cuchran (30-2) of Lyons Township.
"I felt great in my opening match, and also when playing Mitchell, but playing in the heat, wind and in over three hours took a lot out of me both physically and mentally," said Pierce, who will open play Friday at 8 a.m. at Prospect High School.
"It wasn't so much about what Dominic did well in our match, it was more that I was going for too much too soon, which led to unforced errors," continued Pierce. "Now it's all about coming out strong tomorrow and going after a state medal in the back draw."
Pierce's teammate, Chase Bremner, is still in, and will play Barrington sophomore Ammar Wazir at Wheeling, as are several others from the area.
Three-time state qualifier Bert Cao (IMSA) lost his third rounder (6-4, 6-1) to Kyele Mossman (Teutopolis) after opening with two straight victories, while Thomas Nelson (Jacobs) and Class 1A Crystal Lake South freshman Jackson Schuetzle both came back from second round defeats to win and earn a spot in Friday's consolation bracket.
Nelson (32-13), who finished fourth last weekend at the Huntley sectional, will play two-time state qualifier from Streamwood, Alex Veltkamp, at Prospect.
Schuetzle (27-7) was a key figure in the Gators' first sectional team championship last Saturday in Freeport, with the freshman winning the top prize at singles to help South outscore FVC rival Prairie Ridge, 17-14.
"Jackson has had a terrific rookie season, finishing third at the FVC tournament, then coming back from being down (twice) in his sectional final with Preston Engel (Freeport) to outlast him in three high quality sets of tennis," said Crystal Lake South coach Rick Bailey.
Teammates Alex Freeman and Dan Minogue, recently put together by Bailey, staved off elimination with a 6-3, 5-7, 10-8 second round victory after their state opening loss to Metamora, then were sent out after dropping a 6-4, 6-2 match to Urbana.
"Both Alex and Dan played their best tennis of the season in the later stages of the year, and they'll be missed for sure," said Bailey.
Freeman will attend Ohio State next fall, Minogue is going to Notre Dame.
Josh Joseph and Reed Goldsworthy of St. Charles North, who helped the North Stars win their own sectional a week ago, remain alive in the back-draw. So does St. Charles North's top player, Conor Burk, now 23-9 after going 2-1 on the day.
Burlington Central freshman Luke Welker is out after a back injury forced him to withdraw from the 1A tournament.
Welker opened with two victories in straight sets before losing his third round contest to No. 2 seed Dorath Chamarthi of Normal U-High.
U-High is atop the 1A scoreboard after the first day with 21 overall points, five more than 2018 co-champion Chicago Northside (16) and third-place Dunlap with 15 points.
Hampshire's doubles team of Blake Snider and John McCann were eliminated after their third round loss to Glenbrook North, but Cary-Grove's Daniel Sowa and Thomas Conneen fought back from a second round defeat to beat Dhruv Vaze and Aaron John from Hinsdale South to earn the right to play another day.
"Daniel, who was a state doubles qualifier last season, had been my No. 1 guy at singles all year long, but I knew with a singles draw full of talented players at sectionals, our best bet to get someone through was to put Daniel together with Thomas," said coach Amanda Schuetzle.
"They looked great against Warren before sectionals, so the decision was made then and there, and I am so proud of these exceptional young men."
The Trojans team will meet Glenbrook South Friday morning at Wheeling.
Front draw play begins at 9 a.m. Friday, weather permitting, while all consolation matches start at 8.
The race for the top spot in 2A is close with reigning state champion Hinsdale Central even with New Trier at 22 points each. Stevenson is third with 21 points.