Mid-Suburban teams strong in rain-delayed boys state tennis tournament
After early morning showers followed by two more downpours resulted in a five-hour delay of Day 2 in the boys state tennis tournament, Mid-Suburban League powers Barrington, Hersey and Fremd were in the hunt for a state trophy.
Andrew Spurck (Fremd), Deven Carse (Barrington) and the top-seeded doubles team of Mitch Sheldon and Kacper Pascielak (Hersey) all turned in magnificent play in all three of their matches on Friday to advance into the semifinals Saturday at tourney host Hersey in Arlington Heights.
"I am so proud of all our boys today who helped earn points in the back draw, Hersey coach Andy Walton said. "As far as Mitch and Kacper, who complement each other with power and finesse, it's been so much fun watching them develop into such a dangerous doubles team, and staying undefeated after beating New Trier 6-3, 6-2 in their quarterfinal."
Sheldon and Pascielak play Hinsdale Central's Alex Kotarski and James Theiault Saturday morning.
The Red Devils are in control of their own destiny with 40 points, New Trier is at 28, Barrington at 23, Fremd 21 and Hersey with 17 overall points.
Barrington's Carse has enjoyed a memorable two weekends of tennis -- first beating 2021 3A fifth-place medal winner Thomas Nelson (Jacobs) last week at the Cary-Grove Sectional, and Friday when his 6-1, 6-4 defeat ended the hopes of Naperville Central's Blake Roegner.
Carse' teammate Pranav Gadiraju (25-5) lost to Spurck (26-1) the No. 2 seed, 6-3, 6-2, and will look to come back through the consolation bracket to grab a state medal.
"Andrew took care of business all day, and reached a spot we have never been before in program history," Fremd coach Johnny Kent said. "He beat a great opponent in Pranav for a third time this season, (worked) through a couple of mistakes in that match, and won several big 20-ball rallies in the second set in clutch situations."
Spurck will face Mujtaba Ali-Khan (20-1) from Hinsdale Central in his semifinal.
Libertyville (Wils Warren-Connor Stelter) and Maine South (Jack Belconis-Marco Czosnyka) doubles teams were sent into the back draw following quarterfinal defeats on Friday, as were both teams from Vernon Hills, who are in fourth-place (14) behind defending 1A state champion, Latin (30 points), Benet Academy (21) and Dunlap (17).
The No. 2 doubles team of John Yahiro and Patrick Burke from Benet Academy were victorious, as were teammates Noah Bobofchak and Andrew Donovan, who beat Carmel's Miles Whelan and Adrian Larrea 6-0, 6-2.