Latin’s Quazzo takes Ignatius sectional
Updated: May 21, 2011 5:41PM
Parker’s Alex Rachlin knew if he had any chance against Latin star Ben Quazzo, he needed to have a fast start.
Quazzo had other ideas. The Latin senior broke Rachlin three times in a dominating opening set in cruising to the 6-0, 6-3 victory to capture the singles championship of the St. Ignatius Sectional Saturday afternoon.
“He’s so aggressive, and he’s always looking to take control early and you have to be able to take control against him,“ Rachlin said. The Parker senior tweaked his right hamstring at the end of his semifinal victory over Latin’s Brian Dhingra. He recovered from failing to win a game in that opening set to win 12 of the next 14 in the 0-6, 6-1, 6-1 victory.
Quazzo moved him around and used his strong serve and forehand to establish the dominant tempo. “I think my play was strong and solid,” the Princeton-bound Quazzo said. Twice in the first set, Quazzo served himself out of 0-30 deficits in maintaining his clean start.
“That’s what I’m looking to do, what I’ve been working on the whole year, and that’s having a really big, fast first serve and I was able to do that today,” he said. Quazzo did not drop a set in the two-day, five match sectional in running his mark to 24-3 on the season.
His only losses are to New Trier stars, defending state champion Robert Stineman (twice) and Jared Hiltzik. Quazzo and his coach, Howard Carley, believe he has played well enough to justify a top four seed for next week’s state tournament.
“Absolutely,” Quazzo said. “I was fourth a year ago when you consider I finished sixth and two players ahead of me graduated. Stineman is definitely the No. 1, but after that, it’s wide open.
“Sometimes players from smaller schools get overlooked at the seeding meetings, but the fact of the matter is, you have to beat the people in front of you.”
Behind Quazzo and the doubles‘ teams, the Romans dominated the team standings by amassing 35 points and easily outdistance the host Wolfpack, who finished with 20. Young was a distant third with 15 points.
The Romans advanced two singles players and two doubles teams to next week’s state finals. In doubles, Latin’s Robert Rajfer and Carter Bird defeated teammates Drake Leo and Michael Arenson 6-2, 7-6 (4) for the doubles title. Rajfer and Bird played just once before sectional play.
Dhingra defeated St. Ignatius’ Bobby Alter 6-4, 6-4 in the third-place singles match. Young’s doubles team of Michael Bartello and Gabe Glinsey defeated the Wolfpack’s Nate Ryan and L.J. Maloney 6-3, 6-2 in the third-place doubles match.