Boys tennis: Sectional outlook
September 24, 2012 11:30PM
Crown Point's Boris Pavlovski returns a serve in a match against Culver's Quentin Smith on Saturday, August 25, 2012. | Mark Smith~Sun-Times Media
Wednesday — Valparaiso vs. Chesterton; Portage vs. Wheeler, 4:15 p.m.; Thursday — Championship, 4:15 p.m.
Players to watch: Ben Kalisch (Valparaiso), Jeff McElfresh (Portage), Jack Hibbard (Wheeler).
Skinny: Valparaiso remains as the threat in this postseason showdown, but the championship round could feature some interesting results. Factoring in is Portage’s dominant season. The Indians took third in the DAC conference and added some surprising upsets in the process.
Wednesday — Lake Station vs. Andrean, 4:15 p.m.; Thursday — Merrillville vs. River Forest; Hobart vs. Winner of Lake Station vs. Andrean, 4:15 p.m.; Championship following the conclusion of the semi-final rounds.
Players to watch: Nygel Jackson (Merrillville), Jake McCoy (Andrean), Michael Bach (River Forest)
Skinny: This is one of the region’s most balanced tournaments this upcoming weeks. There is parity in both GSCC schools River Forest and Lake Station and Merrillville has put continued to fight on this season, even after the lose of former P-T player of the year Leonard Mathews to graduation.
Wednesday — Calumet vs. Gavit; Munster vs. Highland, 4 p.m.; Griffith vs. Winner of Calumet vs. Gavit, 30 minutes after the conclusion of the first match; Thursday — Championship, 4 p.m.
Players to watch: Jack Heiniger (Munster), Aaron McFarland (Highland), Brett Tauber (Griffith)
Skinny: It’s been quite a while since a local team has been able to top Munster in a regular season or tournament bout and 2012 looks to be just as promising. However, for history’s sake the Mustang’s opening round against arch-rival Highland adds intrigue. And also interesting will be the bye round of the bracket.
Wednesday — Marquette vs. Michigan City; New Prairie vs. LaPorte, 4:30 p.m.; Thursday — Championship, 4:30 p.m..
Players to watch: Michael Varda (LaPorte), Quinn Porter (Marquette)
Skinny: This is one of those sectionals thought could turn into an outright battle for the title. Though the defending champs and hosts Slicers remain the team to beat, there also a club that’s been retooling over the season. And on the upswing have been the small school threat Blazers, who are posting one of there best seasons in the past few years.
Wednesday — Crown Point vs. Lake Central, 4:15 p.m.; Thursday — Lowell vs. Kankakee Valley; Rensselaer vs. Winner of Crown Point vs. Lake Central; Championship follows the semifinals.
Players to watch: Boris Pavlovski (CP), T.J. Ruzga (LC)
Skinny: Nothing like getting the hard work out of the way immediately. After an intense bout of four three-sets matches in their semifinal round in 2011, the hosts CP and LC are fated to see each other immediately. Whoever wins on the other side of the bracket is up for a big challenge in the championship round.
Wednesday — Roosevelt vs. Morton, 4:30 p.m.; Clark vs. West Side, 5:30 p.m.; Thursday — East Chicago vs. Winner of Roosevelt and Morton; Bishop Noll vs. Winner of Clark vs. West Side; Friday — Championship, 4:30 p.m.
Players to watch: Juan Mireles and Kody Earl (Morton), Spencer Hickey (Bishop Noll)
Skinny: And the realignment continues for another fall. This particular sectional features Morton (who was victorious at the River Forest Sectional in 2011) and Bishop Noll (who were defending champs before losing in their shift over to Munster in 2011). The hunger will be there for some hardware, especially between the Hammond rivals on the Governor’s and Warrior’s clubs.
— correspondent Josh Lichtenfeld
Updated: October 26, 2012 2:15PM