St. Charles North dominated doubles against Batavia less than two weeks ago, but in Saturday’s Upstate Eight River tennis meet the Stars failed to hold serve.
Batavia swept the first three doubles titles and got a key No. 3 singles championship from junior James Carr to come away with its third straight Upstate Eight River title at Geneva.
“I really think our guys believed the whole time,” Batavia coach Brad Nelson said. “North played exceptional in our dual meet. They played outstanding tennis and our guys didn’t.
“I felt like they didn’t see our best tennis and we saw theirs. Today we were on our game. The practices we had after that meet we worked on hitting returns down the line and keeping the ball out of the middle of the court and not letting them pick things off. And we were able to do that.”
After losing to them in the regular season, Batavia’s No. 1 doubles team of Ryan Sterling-Adam Maris ran their record to 28-3 with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over North’s Grant Spellman-Aaron Amburgey.
“The big thing was my returns weren’t so hot during the season but when we went out to the Warren Invitational and played Warren’s No. 1 doubles team, they played almost exactly like North’s team where they rush the net and crush it,” Sterling said.
“So my returns got pretty much on fire over the weekend. They couldn’t poach it on us. We were really going down the line a lot, which helped us.”
The Bulldogs’ No. 2 team of Josh Boyle-Jeff Lorden scored a tough 7-5, 7-6 (3) victory over St. Charles East’s Colin Jones-Connor Anderson to improve to 27-4. And the No. 3 team of Andrew Nelson-Emerson Hinzy got to 26-5 by overcoming an agonizing first-set loss to win 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-2 over St. Charles North’s Brady Goldsworthy-Peter O’Brien.
“We became more aggressive at the net after the first set and that gave us the advantage,” Hinzy said. “We’d lost to them in three sets in the dual meet.”
The singles title by Carr over St. Charles East’s Nick Stellon 6-4, 7-6, 6-2 was an upset. Stellon had been the top seed. Carr was the third seed, so he had to beat the top two seeds to claim first.
“Our guys had done this two years in a row,” Nelson said. “They know what it’s all about. I think that’s a big factor, too.”
St. Charles East’s Jasper Koenen has been a top talent in the conference for a while, but the senior emerged with his first No. 1 singles crown, winning 6-0, 6-1 over St. Charles North’s Tim Murat to move to 20-0. He would have been a favorite last year but didn’t compete due to junior nationals.
“I just came out and really competed well,” Koenen said. “I’m a senior and wanted to finish my high school career as a conference champion and I’m hoping to go out and repeat winning the sectional title for the fourth straight year next week.”
North’s only title came sy No. 3 singles, where patient Matt Kramer outlasted East’s Matthew McCarthy, 6-4, 7-5.