The first boys tennis match of the season is here following some rainouts the week before. Neuqua Valley visiting the Naperville North tennis courts to begin the DVC schedule on a day that finally feels like spring. This highlight is sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.
Naperville North one singles features Zach Slade back for his senior year taking on Neuqua sophomore Johnny Mou. Despite falling to Mou when these teams met a year ago, Slade gets off to a roaring start with a powerful ace.
Slade serving in the far court and late in the first set, Mou shows why he is the defending DVC and sectional singles champion with a strong forehand.
But Slade is able to make all the key shots needed to pick up the victory. A great leaping return that stays in play and then a shot that just dies before Mou can reach the ball. The Huskie wins one singles 6-2, 6-3.
Moving to number two singles, another familiar face as Luke Fernandez returns for the Huskies in the same role as last season. Neuqua Valley with junior Divyye Chawra moving into second singles.
Luke Fernandez proved last year that he can be frustrating to play against due to his consistent returns and methodical style of play. He likes to force his opponents to make mistakes like he does here as Chawra finds the net.
How do you avoid getting into long volleys like that? Well aces like this from the Wildcat should help. Chawra takes set one 6-4.
But Fernandez is not going away by any means, in fact here is an ace of his own to take the early set two lead.
Match point for Chawra in set two. The Wildcat junior just putting everything he has behind his returns and Fernandez just keeps sending the ball back. Finally, Chawra gets Fernandez leaning the wrong way and sends home the winner for a 6-4, 6-4 victory.
On to number one doubles as Jonah Grover and Sid Javeri from Neuqua Valley pairing up to face Dovy (rhymes with Dobby) Jasinauskas and Nathan Lee, who had a strong run in the state tournament last summer.
The Huskies serving in the far court. Some great extended reaches from both Javeri and then Grover to make returns and take the point.
Jasinauskas now serving in the near court. The junior then makes a strong return near the back line. That allows Lee to jump in and smash the ball down for a point. North takes a close first set 7-5.
This matchup goes back and forth the entire way. In set two, Javeri facing some tough returns finishes the point with a perfectly placed forehand.
We head to a tie breaker at 6-6 in the second set. Nathan Lee goes for a quick smash but Grover is able to lob a return. However that allows Lee and Jasinauskas to get there and smash it home. Now that’s teamwork as you can’t even tell whose racquet made contact with the ball. The Huskies win the tiebreaker 7-5 for a two set win.
Finishing up with number two doubles, Kai Sun and Tyler Yu moving up from four doubles to the number two pairing this year. Naperville North returns Nicolas Liu and Akash Bansal who get a pep talk from Coach Heather Henricksen.
Sun serving in the near court here in the first set and he goes to work attacking the net and finishing off the point with a forehand. Wildcats take the set 6-1.
But the Huskies battle back in set two, Bansal with the serve and Liu with the smash as North pulls close.
A great volley here between the two teams, Sun and Yu both come up to the net and are ready for each return from Liu. Eventually the Huskies send the ball too long and out of bounds. Neuqua Valley takes the two doubles win 6-1, 6-3. That helps the Wildcats take a very competitive 4-3 team victory over Naperville North boys tennis.
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