Two singles players and one doubles team are still alive after the first day of action at the IHSA State Tournament.
Marian Catholic senior Kyle Scheffers was the lone unbeaten player from the area while Lemont junior Nick Urban won two matches before losing in the third round and the Lockport doubles team of Mike Hasler and Pat Piwoni finished 3-1 and are in the fourth round of consolation.
Scheffers opened play with a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Carbondale’s Cam McElheny then followed it up with a 6-0, 6-1 triumph over Latin’s Adom Dumanian and a 6-2, 6-1 win over WW South’s Charlie McDonough.
“The scores didn’t indicate the level of pay or the competitiveness of the matches,” Scheffers said. “There were a lot of close points and close games but I was able to close out a lot of games really well.”
He will face Hinsdale Central junior Edward Grabill in the fourth round on Friday. Grabill beat his three opponents by a combined score of 24-6 and is seeded in the 5-to-8 bracket while Scheffers was seeded 9-to-16.
“I’ve never played him before but we’re friends and we play at the same club [Score Tennis and Fitness in Countryside] and hit a lot against each other,” Scheffers said. “We’ve known each other for four years and this should be a fun match. He’s very consistent in all parts of the game. I know what to expect.’’
Urban, who was seeded in the 17-to-32 range, beat Belleville Althoff Catholic’s Austin Mueller 6-0, 6-1 and Waubonsie Valley’s Suveer Kothuri before dropping a 6-2, 6-1 decision to New Trier’s Scott Bickel. Bickel was seeded in the 9-to-16 group.
In doubles, Hasler and Piwoni dropped a 6-7 (6), 6-4, 6-1 battle in the second round against Batavia’s Adam Maris and Alex Valesco but recovered to win two more matches to reach the fourth-round consolation.
A high majority of the 29 Southland entrants in the IHSA State Tournament were eliminated after two or three matches on Thursday. Eleven went 0-2 and 11 more went 1-2.
One of the two-and-done victims was the Illiana Christian doubles team of freshman Jason Eberly and senior Ben Van Til.
But the fact that they were able to make the tournament at all was a big step forward for a Vikings program that had not produced a state qualifier since 2003.
“We’ve had these two and Kent Pitsenberger at singles and James Zandstra,” Illiana coach Neil Zandstra said. “So I actually thought at the beginning of the year we had someone who would get to the state meet. We had four players who were good enough to get through. Having a freshman like Jason…I thought we had a good chance.’’