ALGONQUIN – Even during warmups, it was evident this was not an ordinary, middle-of-the-season boys tennis dual meet.
After getting rained out twice before, Prairie Ridge and Jacobs got a break in the weather to play the most anticipated dual of the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division season Wednesday.
The buildup didn’t disappoint. With Prairie Ridge leading, 3-2, the No. 2 singles and No. 4 doubles matches advanced to third sets almost simultaneously. Mitch Mohr and Ross Carpenter pulled out a 6-7 (7-9), 6-4, 7-5 win at No. 4 doubles and gave the Wolves a 4-3 win.
Carpenter and Mohr, both seniors, had been in pressure situations before but only on the football field for the Wolves. “
That’s why we play,” Carpenter added. “That was awesome.”
Carpenter and Mohr went up, 4-1, to start the third set but Jacobs freshmen Michael Bujacz and William Liby battled back to tie the set at 5.
“We were feeling the ride at 4-1,” Carpenter said. “We might have got a little comfortable.”
Mohr said the pressure of needing the win for the team and his teammates surrounding the court screaming brought out the best in them.
“Everything from the atmosphere to everyone’s attention,” Mohr said. “We just transformed into something else.”
Wolves coach Naveed Heydari said it was great to win, especially for his senior leaders at No. 4 doubles.
“It’s huge for [Carpenter’s and Mohr’s] confidence heading into the conference tournament,” Heydari said.
Also winning for Prairie Ridge were Hayden Dzvirisin at No. 3 singles, Jack Lamar and Danny Van Brosch at No. 2 doubles and Matt Cox and Matt Altman at No. 3 doubles.
Jacobs dominated at the top spots with freshmen Kailash Panchapakesan and Kendrick Chong winning at No. 1 and 2 singles, respectively. At No. 1 doubles for the Golden Eagles, Kingsley Bernardo and
Brandon Sidor defeated Bij Heydari and Brad Henning, 6-0, 6-1. Sidor and Bernardo dominated at the net.
“We’re just trying to be more aggressive at the net,” Sidor said. “We really work well together.” Bernardo said he and Sidor are connecting as a team on the court.
“We both knew when we should attack and when to defend,” Bernardo said. “We’ve got great chemistry.”
Jacobs coach Jim Benson was disappointed with the loss but said he told his team it was only a one-point difference. Standings in FVC divisions for tennis are determined by individual match wins.
Prairie Ridge is 4-0 in the FVC Valley with 25 points. Jacobs is 1-1 with nine points. Benson is hoping McHenry and Cary-Grove, the remaining opponents for the Wolves, can earns some wins and give his team a chance.
“It’s not like it’s over,” Benson said. “Our goal from here on out is to not give up a point and steal it away at the end.”