Spring Boys Tennis Preview 2023

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The high school boys tennis scene is likely to be highly competitive as usual as our spring boys tennis preview takes a look at who returns for our six local schools. This preview is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

Benet Academy eager to make another run at 1A State championship

Benet Academy, our lone local team who competed in class 1A a season ago, begins our boys tennis preview. The Redwings did more than compete in the 1A tournament, they nearly won the whole thing. A mix of senior veterans and talented freshman led the charge in 2022 with the doubles teams performing especially well. Seniors Drew Donovan and Noah Bobofchak made all the way to the 1A doubles championship before falling in a hard fought, three-set match. Senior John Yahiro and freshman partner Patrick Burke also made it to the final day and also fell in three-sets in the third place match. Noah’s younger brother Zach won a sectional championship and won a pair of matches at State as well, while another freshman singles player, Hugh Davis, also made it to State and won the ESCC in two singles. Alex Brown and Marcelo Bolivar are two upperclassmen who return with varsity experience, while junior Michael Campione is another name to watch. Burke, Davis and Bobofchak returning as sophomores gives the Redwings and legendary head coach Michael Hand, a great foundation for another run at the 1A title 2023.

Waubonsie Valley excited for returning roster in 2023

Waubonsie Valley did not have a season to write home about if you look at the DVC regular season standings from 2022, however the Warriors were able to put forth a strong effort in the sectionals as Elliot Dam finished as the runner up in singles and Pranav Inampudi and Jackson Jiang qualified for state in doubles by taking fourth place. While Dam has graduated after a great career, Inampudi and Jiang will be back as the top doubles duo. Aiden Lam also returns for his senior season after playing both doubles and singles last year. Senior Rishi Mahadevan is the other high end varsity returner from 2022. Daud Saeed, Brian Daniels, Eesa Nazir, Tayal Samayan and Saisahan Tirukovalluru all have the chance to work into the varsity rotation for the green and gold. Freshman Hector Diaz, Rebnth Kothapalli and Gautam Mani are all newcomers to watch for as well.

Neuqua Valley looks to regain top spot in DVC

Neuqua Valley is always a top team in the area and 2022 was no exception as the Wildcats earned another sectional championship. The Wildcats are fortunate to return their top two singles players in junior Johnny Mou and senior Divyye Chawra, who both qualified for State last season. Mou is the preseason favorite to emerge as the top singles player in the DVC. Both Neuqua doubles teams qualified for State a year ago, but each pairing lost a senior to graduation. Jonah Grover from one doubles and Tyler Yu from two doubles have moved on, but seniors Sid Javeri and Kai Sun are both back and will likely team up to form the top doubles team for the blue and gold this spring.

Metea Valley brings back and experienced roster

Metea Valley fell one-point shy of a sectional championship in 2022, but still managed to earn multiple State qualifiers. Akshay Baid and partner Nikunk Tyagi were the doubles runner up in both the DVC and sectional championships. Tyagi has now graduated, but Baid returns for his junior season. The Mustangs also have their top singles player back for his senior year in Aadit Gandhi. The Mustangs return a good number of talent which should have them right in the mix of the conference race and State qualifying spots. Jash Kadakia and Pranav Swaminathan return for their senior seasons after a DVC championship win in two doubles last spring. Junior Jack Jordan, senior Sailesh Senthilkumar, and sophomore Mihir Arya will all feature prominently in varsity matches this season.

Naperville Central is always a high end contender

Naperville Central did not win the DVC or a sectional championship, however the Redhawks did have the best team score at the 2A State meet a season ago, finishing in a tie for 8th place. The lions share of that credit can go to the now graduated star, Blake Roegner, who won the DVC and sectional singles titles and advanced to the State quarterfinals. The good news for new head coach Kevin Schillerstrom is there are some experienced State qualifiers returning to the roster with Vincent Yin ready to take over at one singles in his senior season. Daniel Rabinovich also returns as a senior after qualifying for State in 2022, although his doubles partner Uju Kim, has graduated along with another solid double player, Daniel Wu. In addition to Yin and Rabinovich, there is a lot of talent coming back to fill the gaps at the top of the varsity roster. Ethan Rupp, Vincent Staputis, Jeremy Zhao, Will Reishus and Brendan Speckmann are all seniors hoping to end their careers on a high note. While returning underclassmen Peter Paik and Rohan Jha will also be in the mix.

Naperville North looks to build on 2022 success

Our final team put forth one of their best seasons in recent memory under head coach Heather Henricksen. The Naperville North Huskies won both the DVC team championship and the Metea Valley sectional title in 2022. The blue and orange also have the top doubles duo in the area returning for their senior seasons in two-time State qualifiers Dovydas Jasinauskas and Nathan Lee, who also won DVC and sectional titles. State singles qualifier Zach Slade will certainly be tough to replace, but senior Luke Fernandez has two years as the Huskies number two singles player under his belt. Akash Bansal is also an experienced doubles player who could remain at two doubles or switch over to the singles division. Sophomore Aarush Bhardwaj is also a candidate to jump into the top varsity spots. It’s a large varsity roster for the Huskies this spring with a large number of freshman and sophomores joining the squad as well. As our boys tennis spring preview concludes, it will be interesting to watch who steps up as the Huskies look to repeat as top dogs in the DVC when the season begins in early April.