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Boys Tennis: Rich Township’s Sterling goes unbeaten but doesn’t get title

Rich Township co-op sophomore Frank Sterling Jr. went 5-0 singles play but finished second Bremen Tournament because scoring system. |

Rich Township co-op sophomore Frank Sterling Jr. went 5-0 in singles play but finished second at the Bremen Tournament because of the scoring system. | Jeff Vorva/For Sun-Times Media

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Rich Township co-op’s Frank Sterling Jr. went undefeated.

But Romeoville’s Miguel Rayos Del Sol won the first-place plaque.

The Spartans sophomore won the singles title at the six-team Bremen Tournament on Saturday afternoon and led Romeoville to the team title with 129 points.

For the second straight year, Rayos Del Sol won the tournament’s singles crown but this time he earned the trophy despite losing to Sterling 6-3 during his final match of the day.

The format for the round-robin tournament was that a match consisted of nine games and the total number of game victories factored into the championship. Rayos Del Sol won his four other matches and outscored his opponents by a combined score of 36-0 to earn 39 points total. Sterling, also a sophomore, was 5-0 but he finished with 37 points because he beat two opponents 7-2, one opponent 8-1 and one 9-0.

“I tell our players that every game counts in a format like this,” said Spartans coach George Joyce, whose team has won the Bremen title two of the last three years. “You have to play hard every game.”

“It was a pretty good day but that last match was tough,” Rayos Del Sol said. “My game didn’t show up in that last match. I wish it did, but he played really well.’’

Veteran Rich Township coach Mike McCarthy said it’s been eight years since he’s had a boys tennis player go to state. Last year, Sterling, who attends Rich Central, came close. In quarterfinal play in last year’s sectional, Sterling said he had momentum in a match against Lincoln-Way Central’s Ryan Champlin but earlier bad weather in the day forced postponement of the match because of darkness. When it resumed the next morning, Champlin put the finishing touches on a 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 victory.

“I still gave it my all when I played the next morning but I just didn’t have it,” Sterling said. “I really want to make it to state this year.”

McCarthy said Saturday’s victory over Rayos Del Sol was a quality win and people soon will start to take notice of Sterling.

“Frank is a throwback,” the coach said. “If you ask him to run through a brick wall, he’ll ask ‘how many times coach?’ He has something in him that champions have.’’

Tinley Park’s Dan Pascual won the No. 2 singles crown, while teammates Dan Daluga and Joe Warner won the No. 1 doubles title and the Titans’ Pat Nolan and Harold Taylor won the No. 2 doubles title.

Tinley Park finished second with 119 points. Crete-Monee took third with 99 points, followed by Bremen (86), Rich Township (65) and Hillcrest (20).



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