Boys tennis: Improving York hopes best stretch lies ahead
The York boys tennis team is trying to build off some solid showings in a pair of invitationals to make a strong showing in the playoffs.
The Dukes (7-9, 1-3 in the West Suburban), placed second in the Maine South Invite and fourth in the Prospect Invite this spring. The Dukes host a varsity quad that includes Wheaton North, Crystal Lake South and Evanston on Saturday.
"The majority of all of our matches this year have been extremely close scores, which could go either way, so we're staying competitive with our opponents," York coach Courtney Bison. "This is a huge improvement from years before, so we are growing as a program year by year."
"We're slated to finish our conference matches in the next two weeks leading into our conference tournament next week. We're looking forward to great weather to finish out our conference matches and tournament to prepare York's top six for sectionals. We're always improving and are confident that we can end this season successfully."
Senior Sam Wit, at No. 1 singles, is leading the Dukes with 13-6 overall record and a 2-2 mark in conference play. Sophomore Anthony Arnieri and freshman Nate Yu have a 7-7 record with a 3-1 mark at No. 1 doubles.
"Sam's had some huge wins (and some tough losses)," Bison said. "Sam should perform well in our Maine South sectional. Anthony Arnieri and Nate Yu have had some fantastic doubles matches, with big wins Oak Park-River Forest, Glenbard West, Niles West and Batavia among them. They should play well at both conference and sectionals this year."
"Also, senior TJ Paul and freshman Brennen Maxeiner at No. 2 doubles are 11-4 overall and 1-3 in conference. They're definitely playing tough matches and are continuing to improve their game. They should also perform well at our conference tournament.
"As we're still finalizing the bottom lineups of varsity, I'm impressed by the dedication and play by all of our players. Senior Gannon Rice, senior Jonah Sweley, sophomore Adam Fennell, sophomore Evan Chew, sophomore Bilal Mir and freshman Saveen Shah -- they're all versatile players and competitive wherever they play."
Hinsdale Central update:
Hinsdale Central coach John Naisbitt has experienced most everything in his career, from watching star athletes develop over the years to winning state championships.
But Naisbitt said he's not seen a spring like this season. The Red Devils won the Jay Kramer Tournament, and defeated New Trier and Brookfield East (Wisconsin) in dual matches.
"The weather has been the real story," he said. "I can't remember a more difficult spring. But the team is strong and solid. We work hard at practice and take nothing for granted."
Senior captain Noah Hernandez, a Brown recruit, remains undefeated through April. He's aiming to win his first singles title after capturing a doubles crown in his freshman season.
"Noah and senior captain Mujtaba Ali-Khan will be a tough out at the state tournament at the end of the month," Naisbit said. "Senior captain Jai Vallurupalli and his partner Anthony Lipari are a force to be dealt with. They won the Jay Kramer tournament in 1-2 doubles flight. They're certainly one of Illinois' best doubles teams."
Wheaton Warrenville South update:
Wheaton Warrenville South remains in the hunt for the DuKane Conference regular season title, along with Wheaton North.
Wheaton Warrenville South coach Patti Clousing admits the closeness of the conference race adds a different element to the final weeks of the regular season. The Falcons ended the Tigers' four-game conference streak last week.
"We're off to a fantastic start," Clousing said. "We had a good battle with Wheaton North last week. We still have Glenbard North and Lake Park, but the boys are having a great time knowing it could come down to a conference title between the two Wheaton schools. That makes it a great conference battle. We have 10 seniors on the team, so they're motivated to finish strong. This team is the first team I've had in a long time that brings so much energy. It's fun to see them come together. Number one singles player Eli Swaastorm is playing with a lot of consistency and power. He's been working hard. Zach Morton is also a big contributor."