Naperville North boys tennis meets up with Naperville Central in a crosstown clash where the Huskies take the overall team victory. This highlight is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.
Always a great matchup on the tennis courts when crosstown rivals Naperville North and Naperville Central meet up. Finally a nice enough day to rock the tank top.
We begin at one doubles with Dovy Jasinauskas and Nathan Lee from Naperville North boys tennis taking on Daniel Rabinovich and Vincent Staputis.
The Central duo is stepping in for the defending doubles state champions Daanyal Saeed and Blake Roegner. But the duo gets off to a great start as Staputis has nice returns before Rabinovich splits the court for the point.
Lee serving now for Naperville North boys tennis in the far court and this time Staputis is there for the smash down the middle. Central takes set one 6-4.
But this is an experienced opponent they are facing, who know how to combat a deficit. Jasinauskas with a serve in set two and Nathan Lee just slides a return past the Redhawks. The Huskies win set two 6-3.
North looking to close out the third set. Some crazy returns here off short bounces. The Redhawks working hard to keep the volley alive, but Lee is able to win the point and the Huskies win one doubles, going 6-3 in set three.
Two doubles now with Jeremy Zhao and Uju Kim from Central against Nick Liu and Akash Bansal from North.
Bansal with a nice serve, but look at this return from the Redhawks that stays in play for the point. Great start for Central.
Later in the first set, the Naperville Central duo on the attack and they are able to finish off this point with some solid returns. A 6-2 set one win.
Bansal serving in the near court now in set two, the junior then unleashes a beautiful forehand slice that stays between the lines. Just like one doubles, we are heading to a third set after a 6-4 win for North.
The Huskies really find their form in the final set. Bansal with a return and then Liu smashes home the winner. A nice come from behind win as North wins one, two and three doubles.
Checking in with singles play. Zach Slade from Naperville North with the tough task of facing Blake Roegner, a two-time All-State doubles player who moves to one singles for his senior season.
But Slade is used to facing the best of the best and he delivers a great shot, hitting the ball on a line to his right while moving to his left for the point.
Late in the first set, Slade serving again. Both players then start cutting the ball hard with a slicing shot. Slade then goes to the backhand that Roegner taps over the top of the net. The Redhawk wins set one 6-2.
One singles is a lot of fun to watch because you see so many great volleys. It’s hard to get a shot past these guys. Eventually, Roegner is able to pull away and win set two by a 6-2 tally as well to get Central on the board.
A pair of veterans squaring off at two singles with Vincent Yin from Naperville Central taking on Luke Fernandez from North.
Yin serving in the near court. He uses a two-handed forehand for power and then races in to return the lob and deadens the ball before Fernandez can make a return. The Redhawk takes the opening set 6-0.
But Fernandez bounces back nicely in set two. Here he places this serve in the perfect spot for an ace, the second set goes to a tiebreaker.
Both players battling, Fernandez trying to force a set three while Yin wants to finish the match now. After a nice volley, Yin gets his opponent guessing the wrong direction as he goes to the backhand. Yin takes the tiebreaker 7-5 for a two set win.
How fitting that a rivalry meet-up comes down to one last match. Three singles will decide the winner as freshman Aarush Bhardwaj goes for North against Central senior Daniel Wu. Everyone lined up to see which team will come out on top.
This point basically sums up the match in general. Solid shots all around, neither player can get a major edge on the other. The match ends up going over two and a half hours. Near the end of the point, Wu drops low for a return that Bhardwaj can not dig out. The Redhawk takes the first set 7-6 via tiebreaker.
But as you can imagine, the match was far from over. The Huskie freshman bounces back in set two, going on to win with a strong forehand near the back line. On to set three we go.
Bhardwaj on the brink of victory in the third set, but Wu continues to make enough shots to survive. Wu charges the net as Bhardwaj tries to lob it over his head, and his opponent makes a great save to keep it in play. But somehow, the young Huskie gets to the ball and sends it back over the net. Wu finds the net and Naperville North takes the win in three singles, and the overall team victory 4-3. A great day of tennis and a sign of a very competitive DVC season this spring.
For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!