The Evanston Township High School boys tennis team is off to a decent start. The team finished fifth in the season opening tournament at Oak Park River Forest Invitational on Apr. 4. One week later in the Evanston Invite on April 11, junior Mike Rosenson at No. 2 singles and the No. 2 doubles team of seniors James Yancuba and Mark Lenz finished third. In that tournament, the Wildkits as a team tied North Shore Country for fourth place with 17 points.
On Apr. 18, the Kits finished first at the Brother Rice Invite with both No.1 singles (junior Joe Collins) and doubles teams (juniors Ben Wood and Rosenson) finishing first.
Head coach Lawrence Ware said, “Our goal is to build on the success we experienced last year (one state-qualified doubles team) and to re-establish the tradition of excellence from previous eras.”
In a match on Apr. 23 the Kits opened conference play by beating Niles West in their first dual-meet of the season. The Kits won six of their seven matches against the Wolves.
“We want to do well in conference, even though that will be very tough with New
Trier and Glenbrook South being ranked very high in the state. Regardless of the teams we play, we want to finish as high as we can,” said Lenz.
Both the players and Coach Ware believe Collins, Wood and Rosenson have the best chance at qualifying for the State tournament.
“A betting man would probably put his money on Collins in singles or Wood and Rosenson in doubles,” said the coach.
“I think Collins, Wood and Rosenson have a decent shot to qualify for State this year,” added Lenz. “This is Joe’s third year at No.1 singles and hopefully he can break through this year. Wood and Rosenson are new to the No.1 spot but hold a lot of promise that could take them far.”
The Kits’ upcoming schedule includes matches on April 30, when the Kits play Maine South. Then they play in the Titan Invite at Glenbrook South on May 2. Between May 4 and 9, they have five matches in six days including matches against archrival New Trier (May 7) and at Moline (May 8-9).
Coach Ware says the games on the schedule are “essentially our annual competitors so we know them well and vice versa.” He adds, “I guess the match with Glenbrook South is likely to determine the runner up position [in Central Suburban League South Conference play] if New Trier finishes first as they are expected to.”
Freshman Jonah Hurtig has a similar outlook, saying, “I believe we can be at least in the third spot in the end [of Conference play] because we all play well together. I [also] believe we will [qualify for the State tournament] with hard work and because we have the determination and the skills this year.”
If Ware, Hurtig and Lenz are correct, look for the Kits to be well represented in the State tournament at Hersey on May 29-30.