Vernon Hills’ David Dobrik hits a backhand shot during a doubles match against Maine South at the Niles North Invitational Saturday. | Curtis Lehmkuhl/for Sun-Times Media
SKOKIE — Before the second round of boys tennis matches at Saturday’s Niles North quad, the Vernon Hills doubles team of senior David Dobrik and junior Nikita Lunkov played an unofficial singles match to five points.
The winner got to play No. 1 singles against Loyola, while the loser would play No. 2 singles.
“They’ve been playing doubles all year and this was their one opportunity to get a little bit of singles in before we head into conference and then sectionals the week after,” Vernon Hills coach Doug Gerber said.
Dobrik beat Lunkov, then topped Loyola’s Andy Hovanec 6-1, 6-4. Lunkov beat Loyola’s Greg Kulis 1-6, 6-4, 7-1. Vernon Hills finished fourth in the event with 94 points.
Gerber said Dobrik and Lunkov are better as a duo. They’ve played together all year and have only lost twice. They communicate well and aren’t afraid to get creative. In a No. 1 doubles win against Niles North that was decided in a tiebreaker, they played in a rarely seen Australian formation.
“Even though they’re down in that third set super, they’ll do what they think they need to do in order to switch things up,” Gerber said.