|History has already been made at the 2017 Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Boys Tennis State Finals, as Sectional play last week ushered in the Two-Class State Series era. The IHSA contested its first Boys Tennis State Finals in 1936 as a single-class tournament, which is where the sport has remained until now. The State Final field remains the same size, as the total qualifying number was split in half and appropriated to each class. Hersey High School in Arlington Heights remains Tournament Central for both classes, and will host all of Saturday’s matches, while other matches will be contested throughout Chicagoland at the courts from the high schools in Districts 211, 214 & 220 (see right sidebar).
Earlier this week, a committee of coaches seeded the Top 4 players in each bracket, who are then separated in the bracket. The No. 1 and No. 2 seeds are set, while the two singles players/doubles tandems designated as the No. 3/4 seeds are interchangeable between the two seed positions. The committee then seeds a group of four players from 5-8. The players in those groupings are assigned to the remainder of the bracket, with provisions made to try and prevent players from the same high school or same Sectionals from having to matchup until as late as possible in the meet.
1 Victor Spolidorio, Dunlap
2 Nic Meister, Latin
3-4 Natan Spear, Northside
3-4 Anderson Park, Belvidere North
5-8 John Pooley, DePaul College Prep
5-8 Patrick McGuigan, Benet Academy
5-8 Andy Graf, Mascoutah
5-8 Nicolas Welker, Burlington Central
1 Sam Fleming - Arjun Asokumar, Chicago University
2 Josh Friesen - Carter Burk, Normal University
3-4 Fletcher Koehrsen - Carsten Boast, Metamora
3-4 Steven Chacko - David Wu, Dunlap
5-8 Connor Kaniewski - Ben Mitchell, Latin
5-8 Ajay Chopra - James Dill, Chicago University
5-8 Ty Krill - Owen Setran, Wheaton Academy
5-8 Kendal Seymore - Jonathan Wuyan, Latin
There is a good chance that the inaugural Class 1A team state champion will also be a first-time state champion. With the majority of the past state champions now residing in Class 2A, the only school in this year’s Class 1A field with a previous state title is Bloomington, who wore the team state crown in 1989 and 1992. Dunlap, Glenwood, Lemont, and Mt. Vernon all enter the weekend with the maximum four entries (6 total players, two singles, two doubles) and multiple chances to accumulate team points. Dunlap tallied the state’s best Sectional team score (36 points) in the class, while Mt. Zion (32), Normal University (32) and Glenwood (31) all broke the 30-point threshold.
Dunlap has the field’s top seed in the Singles tournament in senior Victor Spolidorio, a quarterfinalist in 2016, while the Eagles sophomore doubles tandem of Steven Chacko and David Wu earned the 3/4 seed.
No high school from Chicago has won a team state title since Senn in 1943, but that could change this weekend. The Latin School boasts the No. 2 Singles seed in Nic Meister, while it also has a pair of seeded doubles teams (5/8 Seeds: Connor Kaniewski & Ben Mitchell; Kendal Seymore & Jonathan Wuyan).
Two other seeded singles players hail from Chicago in Northside’s Natan Spear (3/4) and DePaul College Prep’s John Pooley (5/8), while Chicago University has two seeded doubles tandems, including top seed Sam Fleming and Arjun Asokumar, as well as Ajay Chopra and James Dill (5/8).
Benet Academy's Patrick McGuigan has tournament experience, having reached the quarterfinals in the Doubles field last year, and earned a 5/8 seed this year as a senior playing Singles.
1 Jacob Edelchik, Highland Park
2 Jack Randall, Lockport
3-4 Nick Marino, Glenbrook North
3-4 Ryan Roegner, Naperville Central
5-8 Mark Wu, Glenbrook North
5-8 Danilo Kovacevic, Maine South
5-8 Zach Elliott, Hinsdale Central
5-8 Jeffrey Chen, New Trier
1 Alex Gray - Zach Trimpe, Edwardsville
2 Sebastien DesRoberts - Rohan Gupta, Glenbrook South
3-4 Brandon Lew - Jeremy Learner, Highland Park
3-4 Trevor Hamilton - Andrew Buhelos, Hinsdale Central
5-8 Reed Bianucci - Jake Zipoli, New Trier
5-8 Peter Alex - Namit Sambare, Hinsdale South
5-8 Bill Zhang - Martin Matov, Naperville Central
5-8 Joseph Daw - Joseph Cunningham, Hinsdale Central
New Trier closed out the one-class era last spring by capturing its 21st state championship in program history, and will certainly have the chance to extend its title streak into the two-class era. The Trevians will have the maximum four entries competing this weekend. Seven other schools in Class 2A matched New Trier by advancing max participants to the finals, as Conant, Glenbrook North, Hononegah, Lincoln-Way East, Lake Forest, Naperville Central, and Stevenson all have six total players (2 singles, 2 doubles tandems) competing this weekend. Of that grouping, Glenbrook North and Lake Forest both own past team titles, while Stevenson has placed second four times since 2007. Lake Forest and New Trier tied for the top Sectional score in the class with 35 points each.
If the seeds hold true, the inaugural Class 2A Singles and Doubles Championships won’t feature any of the aforementioned schools, as Highland Park senior Jacob Edelchik (6th in 2016) and Lockport junior Jack Randall earned the number one and two Singles seeds, respectively, while tandems from Edwardsville (Alex Gray & Zach Trimpe) and Glenbrook South (Sebastian DesRoberts & Rohan Gupta) topped the Doubles field.
Top seeded Gray and Trimpe placed fourth a year ago after falling to a Highland Park team in the third-place match. One half of that Highland Park tandem returns in Brandon Lew, who is now teamed with fellow senior Jeremy Learner, and enters the weekend as the 3/4 Doubles seed.
Glenbrook North senior Mark Wu is in the 3/4 singles slot after placing third in the state a year ago, while Hinsdale Central’s Zach Elliot reached the quarterfinals of the Consolation bracket last year and enters his junior season as a 5/8 seed.
Hinsdale Central doubles teams have won state in five of the past eight seasons, including 2016, and will have two seeded teams playing this weekend in 3/4 seed Trevor Hamilton and Andrew Buhelos, as well as 5/8 seed Joseph Daw and Joseph Cunningham. Meanwhile, fellow district school Hinsdale South also produced a seeded pair in Peter Alex and Namit Sambare (5/8).
102nd year of State Series
1st year of two-class series
Hersey High School
Barrington High School
Buffalo Grove High School
Conant High School
Elk Grove High School
Fremd High School
Hoffman Estates High School
Palatine High School
Prospect High School
Rolling Meadows High School
Schaumburg High School
Wheeling High School
Thursday, May 25
All matches - 9:00 am *
Friday, May 26
Consolation - 8:00 am *
Championship - 9:00 am *
Saturday, May 27
Consolation - 8:00 am
Championship - 9:00 am
* Suspended matches will be played at a site and time TBA by tournament managers
There is no charge for admission at this event
No broadcasts currently scheduled for this event
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