Boys Tennis: Hinsdale Central will host the states best on Saturday
Updated: April 16, 2012 6:24PM
With seven teams, Hinsdale Central’s Kramer Invitational isn’t big, but the teams involved represent some big-time programs.
Six teams finished in the top nine at least year’s state meet and Lyons tied for 15th.
“It’s almost like a mini state tournament,” said Lyons top singles player Jake Elliott, a junior.
But Hersey’s Pitchford Invitational April 27-28 is often called a “mini state tournament.” All three teams will compete in both tournaments, which should really benefit coaches still trying to work on doubles team combinations.
The singles competition at the Kramer Invitational is loaded. The tournament features last year’s state runner-up Jared Hiltzik of New Trier and third place Jason Brown of Deerfield.
The area’s top singles players include Hinsdale Central’s Sam Bloom, Elliott and Oak Park-River Forest’s Luke Trinka. The Boston College-bound Bloom deserves consideration right up there with Hiltzik and Brown. Bloom was sixth in last year’s state meet.
Bloom defeated Trinka 6-3, 7-6(7-5) April 12 in Hinsdale Central’s 7-0 dual-meet victory over OPRF in Hinsdale.
Hiltzik reached the quarterfinals of the U.S. Tennis Association’s Easter Bowl April 15 in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
One unknown factor could be Hinsdale Central freshman Martin Joyce, who did not compete against OPRF, but beat Brown in three sets early in the season.
The Kramer Invitational will be held at Hinsdale Central and at Burns Field. The field includes defending state champion New Trier, runner-up Deerfield, OPRF (third at state), the host Devils (fifth), Highland Park (sixth), Neuqua Valley (ninth) and Lyons.
Elliott is playing singles for the first time in his varsity career after going to the state doubles tournament with graduate Danny Schuster last season.
“I’ve been working on being more consistent and getting used to singles,” Elliott said. “I’ve played well. I think I can play better. We’ll see how it goes in the future.”
But Elliott is eyeing a future as a football placekicker after making at least eight field goals in the fall, including two game-winners and a career-long 52-yarder to beat OPRF.
Over winter break, Elliott attended a placekicking showcase at the Wisconsin Dells and will attend the prestigious Kohl’s camp July 7-8 at Wisconsin-Whitewater.
Trinka already lost to Hiltzik in a dual meet April 5 in Winnetka. Like Elliott, he’s playing singles after playing doubles with graduate Devin Jones last year. The defeat to Bloom was his third loss of the season.
Trinka won the singles title and OPRF won the team title Saturday in the Prospect Invitational.
“I’ve been playing [singles] the whole year,” Trinka said. “It’s a dramatic shift, but I’m happy with it. There is somewhat of an adjustment. Everybody has two different mindsets. [Kramer] is always tough. There are some very good kids in the state.”
The doubles competition at the Kramer Invitational is wide open. Hinsdale Central’s Peter Heneghan and Alex Hagermoser are 6-0 to start the season, but don’t know what combination New Trier will use at doubles Saturday.
“I feel like this is a continuation of last year,” Heneghan said. “We played a little over the winter together. At this point, it feels like we are in midseason form.”
The rest of the Devils’ doubles lineups keeps changing. Against OPRF, Chase Hamilton and Michael Lorenzini were No. 2 doubles and Griffin Johns and Chris Salhel were No. 3 doubles.