CRYSTAL LAKE – True to its form all season, Prairie Ridge's boys tennis team won the Crystal Lake Central Invitational on Saturday with contributions from its entire lineup.
Hayden Dzurisin won at No. 2 singles for the Wolves, and Matt Altman and Garrett Locher won at No. 2 doubles. Prairie Ridge also had championships from Aaditya Rawal at No. 3 singles and Jared Priesz and Andy Park at No. 3 doubles.
After winning their first set in the championship match, Altman and Locher were knotted at 4-4 against Fremd’s James Feng and Ryotaro Saito. With Saito serving, the game extended to more than 20 deuce points before Altman and Locher were able to pull out the game.
“It was really intense,” Altman said. “I lost count at five (deuces).”
Most of the deuce points went the Wolves’ way, which eased the pressure.
“I felt like we were in control because we were always winning the deuce side,” Locher said.
Altman and Locher went on to win, 6-4, 7-5, and gained some momentum heading into the last part of the season. They are looking for a conference championship and hope to qualify for state for the first time.
“I think it’s like a partner boost,” Locher said. “We’re playing better because we know how to handle those situations.”
Also for Prairie Ridge, Joey Weissmann and Steve Diklich took second at No. 4 doubles, Danny Van Bosch and Matt Cox took fourth at No. 1 doubles, and Ryan Kohl was fifth at No. 1 singles.
The Wolves won with 54 points, followed by Fremd with 49 and Boylan with 43. Marian Central was fifth with 33 points, Dundee-Crown (32) was sixth and Crystal Lake Central (25) took seventh.
D-C's Brad Spangenberg and Chad Wagner lost in the finals at No. 1 doubles to Boylan, but it’s their semifinal win that they will remember.
Spangenberg and Wagner defeated the Wolves’ VanBosch and Cox, 6-2, 6-1, in the semis. Spangenberg said they were able to establish some momentum and sustain it in the win.
“We got our first set and from there we kept rolling,” Spangenberg said. “They were a little inconsistent, and we took advantage of it.”
The win also is a boost heading into the Fox Valley Conference tournament, which begins May 19.
“PR is definitely one of the better teams in our conference,” Wagner said. “With this win under our belts, it will be good going into conference.”
Prairie Ridge coach Jim Benson is hoping both of his No. 2s – Dzurisin in singles and Altman and Locher in doubles – qualify for state.
“I know [Dzurisin is] capable of it. He can hit the ball with some of the best in the conference,” Benson said. “Going against Fremd’s [No. 2 doubles], it is more like sectional and state qualifying teams.”
Charles Shin took second at No. 1 singles to lead Marian Central, and Brad Phoenix and Dev Brahmbhatt were fourth at No. 2 doubles to lead the host Tigers.