Boys Tennis: Round Lake increases its net worthGrayslake, IL 3/28/12 Warren and Round Lake boys tennis players joined in with numerous other teams at the Warren Dual Tennis Tourney Wednesday. Round Lake's Tyler Stempinski talks to himself while battling the wind and his first singles opponent from Rockford Jefferson.
| Rob Dicker~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 29, 2012 7:39PM
With so many teams (20) and so many matches (200), it was easy to get lost in the shuffle at Wednesday’s marathon-like Warren Invitational dual-meet boys tennis tournament.
But one team and one set of results jumped off the scoresheet like a hungry Panther on the prowl.
Round Lake’s Panthers, that is.
While Round Lake only won one of its four best-of-five dual-meet competitions at the Warren event, three very important things happened that were positives for the Panther program.
■ No. 1 singles player Tyler Stempinski has game. He went 2-2 in the tourney while playing against the best players from other schools.
■ Stempinski isn’t a one-man team. Round Lake won one match, and in two others, dropped 3-2 decisions. Only once were the Panthers skunked 5-0.
■ The rise in athletic fortunes involving boys teams at Round Lake High — which started with cross country and soccer last fall — has a trickle-down effect, with the netters now showing they can compete in the Prairie Division of the North Suburban Conference.
Round Lake’s win was over Dundee-Crown from the Fox Valley Conference, and it’s 5-0 loss was to a South Elgin team that didn’t lose a match all day.
The other results were 3-2 scores against Mundelein and Rockford Jefferson.
Stempinski’s play at No. 1 keyed the Panthers on Wednesday and the senior — headed to Kansas next year because he’s smart — has the respect of Warren coach Greg Cohen, who ran the 20-team tennis festival.
“We really like this kid. He played in the Warren Junior Open the last couple of years, and then came and finished the summer with our camp,” Cohen said.
“He is incredibly quick. He is really coachable and a very good athlete.
“Our (Warren) kids really liked him and our (summer camp) coaches really liked working with him in the limited time we saw him. He is fun to watch compete.”
Round Lake is off the rest of this week and will return to the courts when school resumes next week.