Metea Valley wins the Benet Academy boys tennis sectional with the Redwings in second

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Day two of the Benet Academy 2A boys tennis sectional features Metea Valley, Naperville North, Naperville Central, Wheaton Warrenville South and the host Redwings all earning state qualifiers. This highlight is sponsored by BMO.

Benet and Metea Valley battle for the sectional title

In the singles third place match Benet Academy junior Patrick Burke faces Arain Lagarija from Wheaton South. All players competing on Saturday have already punched a ticket to state, but team points and seeding for the state tournament are still up for grabs.

The Tiger senior is able to pick up a nice point in the first set with some strong shots to move Burke around the court.

Burke defeated Rohan Jha from Naperville Central in the quarterfinals to earn his state spot while Lagarija got past Jack Jordan from Metea Valley. The Redwing is able to earn the third place medal in straight sets with an overpowering forehand to keep Benet in the hunt for the sectional plaque.

The third place doubles match has Naperville North senior Brandon Dumbell and sophomore Noah Eun earning their first state appearance as the Huskies face Royce Lalani and Mihir Arya from Metea Valley, the DVC two doubles champions, who also are heading to state for the first time.

The Huskies get off to a hot start to match the weather on the day. Dumbell playing near the net places a backhand in the perfect spot near the back to avoid the reach of the Mustangs.

Metea battles back late in the set, eventually pulling even before winning the opening set in a 7-6 tiebreaker as Mihir Arya smashes home the point.

The second set is a tight one as well, this time Noah Eun makes several key shots playing near the back, before earning the point with a backhand.

The Mustangs are able to take home the third place medals in straight sets, 7-6, 6-4 as Lalani, the lone freshman state qualifier in the sectional, makes a great shot just over the net for the point.

The Redwings and Mustangs clash for the doubles championship

The doubles championship features the 2023 1A state doubles champion, Zach Bobofchak and Hugh Davis from Benet Academy against the young, but fearless duo of Ameya Tyagi and Rish Railkar from Metea Valley.

Tyagi competed in sectionals as a singles player last season, falling the quarterfinals so this will be the first state appearance for both Mustangs. Despite having an experience disadvantage, Tyagi and Railkar get off to a roaring start and win the first set 6-4. Railkar with a beautiful return down the line to help seal it.

The Mustangs keep things rolling in the second set as following a series of deep lobs, Tyagi steps up towards the net and powers a smash home for the point.

The Redwings need to dig deep to stay alive and that is exactly what they do. In the second set, the momentum begins to shift after Davis smashes a return down to put Benet in front for the first time in the set.

The Benet duo begins to get more serves in play and it works to their advantage as Davis takes advantage of the lob return set up by a strong Bobofchak serve. The Redwings win five of the final six games to take the set 6-3.

The Redwings are one game away from winning the doubles title, but the Mustangs show a resilient spirit. Railkar with a serve and Tyagi drops the point in the corner as this match heads to a tiebreaker in the third set.

Despite dealing with severe cramps due to the warm temperatures, Benet is able to emerge as the doubles sectional champions as Bobofchak helps put things away with a smash at the net. A marathon match that entertains the crowd ends with a three set victory for the red and black.

Akshay Baid is able to help Metea Valley win the sectional championship

The singles championship is becoming a very familiar matchup as this is the third time in two weeks that Charlie Morgan from Naperville Central and Akshay Baid from Metea Valley have gone head to head. Morgan won the previous two matchups, including in the DVC one singles championship, however both meetings were extremely close.

Baid is determined to come out on top this time around as he moves his opponent across the court and finishes a strong two-handed backhand to take the first set 6-2. The senior has now qualified for state in all four of his high school seasons, twice in doubles and in singles the past two seasons.

This is actually Morgan’s first IHSA state tournament qualification as he has not played for Naperville Central since his freshman season in 2021. Despite trailing 3-0 in the second set, the Redhawk senior battles back with strong play to even the set at 3-3.

However, Akshay Baid would not be denied on this day. A backhand return lands right on the corner and all Morgan can do is watch as the Mustang wins his first singles sectional championship after taking the second set 6-3. Metea Valley boys tennis wins the sectional title as a team for the first time since 2021 as the Mustangs edge out Benet with Naperville Central and Wheaton Warrenville South tying for third place. Despite falling the quarterfinals and missing the cut for state, Metea Valley singles player Jack Jordan picked up key points to help the Mustangs secure the sectional victory.

For more prep sports highlights, visit the Naperville Sports Weekly page!