Although seven players from last year’s Fenwick High School boys tennis team have moved on due to graduation, the Friars return a talented mix of upperclassmen. Last season, Fenwick finished 9-11 in dual matches with third-place finishes in both the Chicago Catholic League and Oak Park and River Forest Sectional and 56th place at the IHSA state meet.

Junior Colin Fitzpatrick is the team’s top returner with plenty of doubles experience accrued over the past two seasons. Fitzpatrick, who teamed with Jack Ryan to advance to the second day of doubles competition at the state tournament in 2013, takes over No. 1 singles this year.

“Colin is responding well so far to the toughness of the [No. 1] position, with no bad losses and good play against higher-ranked opponents,” Fenwick coach Gerard Sullivan said. “His win over St. Ignatius’ Chris Scott was a good sign that he can go the distance in tournaments.”

Seniors David Prabhu, Mike Doherty and Nick Sagastume are returning team leaders who will see playing time at the top two doubles spots. Promising newcomers include juniors Mike Cahill, Johnny Mullen, and David Hausken, along with sophomores Danny Reardon and Kevin Donahue. Reardon has seen extensive action at No. 2 singles behind Fitzpatrick, while Cahill joins the aforementioned seniors as a key player in the doubles rotation. Senior Nick Hoffmeister and freshman Nick Halter offer even more depth to the lineup.

“This year’s team will show great improvement if they build on the confidence they have shown to far,” Sullivan said. “There’s a lot of commitment and positive energy with this group.”

With Loyola (which already defeated Fenwick 7-1 this season) and St. Ignatius established as the clear-cut favorites to contend for the Chicago Catholic League championship, Sullivan feels the Friars can hold off teams like Providence and Brother Rice for third place in the conference.

Fenwick results

Rolling Meadows Invite (Apr. 12)

Fenwick 3, Palatine 3

Fenwick 4, St. Viator 2

Lake Zurich 5, Fenwick 1

OPRF Witsman Invite

Fenwick scored 20 points to take fifth place. Host Huskies won the tournament with 54 points.

Other matches

Fenwick 4, De La Salle 1

Fenwick 8, Bishop McNamara 0

Loyola 7, Fenwick 1

Fenwick 5, St. Rita 0

Carmel 5, Fenwick 1