Boys Tennis: Ross hopes to regroup
Updated: April 23, 2012 5:52PM
Alex Ross hasn’t played many matches this season, but he expects that to change in the next few weeks.
The Lyons freshman spent more than one week earlier this month playing in the U.S. Tennis Association’s Easter Bowl in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Ross went 3-2 in singles, but had bigger success in doubles.
Ross competed in his biggest high school tournament to date on Saturday at Hinsdale Central’s Kramer Invitational. That status will change quickly this weekend when Hersey’s two-day Pitchford Invitational begins at 3 p.m. Friday in what many regard as a mini-state tournament with several top singles players expected to compete such as Illinois-bound Jared Hiltzik of New Trier and Yale-bound Jason Brown of Deerfield. Hiltizk defeated Brown for the Kramer Invitational singles championship and were second and third at last year’s state meet.
When Lyons senior and No. 1 singles player Jake Elliott was paired with Ross for the seventh place match, the two teammates agreed not to play and Ross defaulted to Elliott.
Ross (6-2) suffered his first two losses of the season at the Kramer Invitational. He lost in the quarterfinals to Hinsdale Central’s No. 2 singles, fellow freshman Martin Joyce, 6-4, 6-4, and then was beat 6-2, 6-1 by Aron Hiltzik, the sophomore brother of Jared.
“This definitely gives me an outlook of who to watch,” Ross said. “I’ll evaluate the match and see how to play them [again].”
When Ross joined the team at the beginning of the season, Elliott was the only teammate he knew from previous offseason tournaments.
“I did not know the new guys,” Ross said. “This year they have been cool kids. They are fun to be around.”
Ross, a Burr Ridge resident, trains at the Hinsdale Tennis Club and went to Pleasantdale Middle School. His seventh grade brother, Gianni, is one of the top players in his age division and is ranked No. 1 in the Great Lakes Region and No. 4 nationally, according to tennisrecruiting.net.
Gianni Ross competed in the Easter Bowl and lost in the quarterfinals.
Alex Ross combined with Mwendwa Mibithi of New York to reach the quarterfinals at the Easter Bowl before losing to the eventual champions. Ross met Mibithi at a national tournament months ago and agree to play doubles together.
“It was a good experience. It helped me improve,” Ross said.
Lyons (34 points) placed fifth out of eight teams at Hinsdale Central.
Lyons’ best finishes at the Kramer Invitational came in the No. 3-4 doubles bracket with Matthew Pesch and John Wennerstrum in fifth and Adam Conrath and Tom Nelson in 12th. At No. 1-2 doubles, Connor Wasz and Chris O’Reilly finished 14th and Bobby Burke and Kevin Kokaska were 16th.
After Pitchford, Lyons competes at Oak Park-River Forest May 1 and at Barrington May 5. The West Suburban Silver meet begins May 11 in Western Springs.