Boys Tennis: Neuqua Valley wins North inviteGordon Zhang of Naperville North smashes a forehand at #1 singles at the Naperville North boys tennis invitational on Saturday. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 14, 2012 9:48PM
Trudy Bennorth couldn’t have asked much more from her Neuqua Valley Wildcats than what they gave her at the Naperville North Tennis Invitational on Saturday.
The Wildcats won a pair of individual championships and all six entries — three singles, three doubles — made it to the finals as Neuqua Valley’s 44 points bested second place Lyons (39) and third-place Naperville North (33) to win the invitational team title.
“It was a good day,” said Bennorth. “The rain held off. We had some really good matches and it was especially encouraging because we have all new doubles team.”
Third-doubles Jeff Ohmer and freshman Amit Iyer and third singles Naveen Krishnan went home with championship medals.
The Ohmer-Iyer title run was remarkable because Iyer is playing doubles for the first time this season.
“Jeff is really teaching him the ropes,” said Bennorth. “And Amit is getting stronger and stronger. They’ve only played together five times and yet they’re closing on the net better because they’re working so hard at going forward.”
“I was a little nervous at first because I’m used to playing singles,” said Iyer. “But Jeff helped me get through it. He’s so confident and easy-going that I don’t feel too bad when I miss shots. He’s a great leader and he helps me get my mood up.”
Krishnan breezed through his first two matches before meeting Lyons’ Cuyler Burke in the finals. The Neuqua Valley junior took the first set 6-2 and then slumped in the second and lost 0-6 before recovering to win the tiebreaker 10-8.
“I was serving well, moving well and hitting well all day,” said Krishnan. “I won the first set comfortably in the finals and I started missing easy shots in the second set. And then I got mad at myself and couldn’t get my rhythm back. I have to remember to calm down and not have that second-set lapse in order to close out matches.”
Krishnan said he regained his composure in the tiebreaker and he was able to play more aggressively and more consistently.
“Cuyler was fast and his ball was coming back with a lot of topspin,” said Krishnan.
“And my ground strokes just weren’t working in the second set. And that’s usually my strength.”
“Naveen has been working on that second-set letdown in big matches,” said Bennorth. “But he’s definitely improving and he was solid for most of the day.”
Neuqua’s first-doubles Jack Warning and Andi Kosova went to the finals before losing a closely-fought match 7-6, 5-7 (7-9) to Waubonsie Valley’s Abhi Singh and Deep Chatterjee and second doubles Kenneth Hoffman and Nick Wright also lost a tough one in the finals 1-6, 6-1 (11-9) to Jack Alexander and Andrew Stovall of Rockford Guilford.
Connor Wasz of Lyons Township defeated Neuqua’s Tim Worley 6-2, 6-4 at second-singles.
In the one downer of the day the Wildcats’ first-singles Michael Baiocchi was forced to retire from the second set of his finals match and forfeit the title to Naperville North’s Gordon Zhang, who had won the first set 6-1.