Boys Tennis: Doubles teams drive Lincoln-Way East’s title run
By Dick Goss email@example.com May 11, 2013 5:34PM
Lincoln-Way East's Rohan Piska, left, and doubles partner Ty Scaletta react after the win against doubles Alex Eng and Danny Kopas of Homewood-Flossmoor Saturday during the SWSC Blue Division Championship in Flossmoor. photo for Sun-Times Media by Jean Lachat
Updated: June 13, 2013 7:00PM
When you have three championship duos and a runner-up in the four doubles divisions, chances are you will be difficult to beat.
That was the case Saturday as Lincoln-Way East conquered a strong field to win the SouthWest Surburban Blue Boys Tennis Meet.
The Griffins finished with 28 points. Homewood-Flossmoor and Lockport, neither of which had a champion, used depth and balance to tie for second with 21 points. Sandburg was fourth with 19, followed by Joliet West co-op with 16. Bolingbrook failed to score.
As much as the day belonged to East, which also won conference titles in 2009 and 2011 under coach Chris Olson, the marquee attraction was the first singles final between two longtime rivals, Sandburg’s Eric Pontow and Joliet’s Jack Carney.
Carney came in unbeaten and the No. 1 seed. He had beaten Pontow 6-2, 6-3 during the season. This was Pontow’s revenge as he prevailed 6-4, 6-2.
“The first time we played I hadn’t been in season form as much as I am now,” said Pontow, who will play college tennis at UIC. “I’ve gotten into a groove now. I felt good.”
“It was a good match,” Carney said. “There were some good points. But he played well and I didn’t.”
East’s Ty Scaletta and Rohan Piska beat H-F’s Alex Eng and Daniel Kopas in the first doubles final. The Griffins’ Jarek Jozwik and Luke Greenfield topped H-F’s Jesse Myles and Devohn Hall at second doubles and East’s Colin Walsh and Jon Strode beat Lockport’s Kyle McElroy and Nolan Witkowski at fourth doubles.
East’s Anthony Neri and Connor VanderGenugten dropped a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 decision to Sandburg’s Ryan Schusler and Jake Schramm in the third doubles final.
“We were 36-0 in doubles in nine conference dual meets and we were on that pace here,” Olson said. “We knew the tournament would be tough in singles. We have three good ones in singles, but we knew our record of success in doubles was the key.”
H-F coach Mike Sacks, who had Jacob Miguest finish third at second singles and Asher Miles third at third singles, was happy his team was able to share second place. That makes it 44 straight years the Vikings have been first or second in conference.
“We came in seeded fifth of the six teams so it’s nice to see us coming through at crunch time,” Sacks said. “We lost to the best team.
“We lost kids for various reasons during the season. We probably didn’t have these 11 here for any of our duals. That made a difference.”
In addition to McElroy and Witkowski taking second place, Lockport featured Lucas Randall’s third place at first singles, sophomore Mike Hassler’s second place at second singles and two third-place doubles duos — Brandon Davis and Bryan Hecker at second doubles and Kevin Roberts and Eduardo Estrella at third.
“We have a deep team and it showed in the conference tournament,” Porters coach Bob Champlin said. “It helped to get four doubles to the semifinals. Lucas (Randall) played well, and for how much tennis he has played, Hasler is amazing.”