Riverside-Brookfield High School boys tennis coach Brennan Denny is understandably viewing this season from a big picture perspective. Off to a 1-4 start this spring with a roster of talented but relatively unproven players, he has no choice.
“We have been struggling a bit this season,” Denny said. “It comes with having a young team and being in a situation where we are playing some very inexperienced guys on the varsity level. We’re in a situation due to our lack of experience that we play guys at multiple spots on both the varsity and frosh-soph rosters. This can be a positive thing because guys are gaining instant match experience.”
With the loss of just two key players off last year’s squad, juniors Peter Pribyl- Pierdinock and Andrew Pilewski along with seniors JP Sengstock and Alex Muntean and promising sophomore Ben Pollock comprise the nucleus of the RBHS team.
“The great news is that once again we are only losing a couple of seniors after this season,” Denny said. “And we’ll be able to welcome more players than what we will lose to continue building our roster.”
Freshmen Frankie Filec and Matthew Pilewski are also welcomed additions to the program. They could possibly make an impact this season and certainly will play key roles in the future.
“I’m most optimistic about the growth we can make with our young players moving forward,” Denny said. “I believe that the keys for us moving forward are developing the talent we currently have and reaching out to the elementary and middle school feeder schools to hook kids into our program.”
Within the Metro Suburban Conference, Glenbard South is the clear-cut favorite to win the title with the Bulldogs hovering in the middle of the pack mix. RBHS also annually competes in an impossibly difficult sectional loaded with elite teams.
In the end, the Bulldogs simply do the best they can with the resources they have.
“At times we have to construct lineups against other teams that have developed their talent more exclusively through their lower level or private club play,” Denny said. “Our players don’t compete through the offseason like those from some of our closest rivals. Additionally, we are in one of the state’s toughest sectional tournaments with the likes of defending state champion Hinsdale Central, Lyons Township and Hinsdale South.”
After winning their season opener over Bolingbrook 4-3, the Bulldogs have lost four straight dual matches and finished fourth at both the Leyden and Wheeling Invites.
RBHS hosts Timothy Christian on Thursday (4:30 p.m.) and will also participate in the Willowbrook Invite on Saturday, starting at 8 a.m.
“It’s one of our busiest times of the season,” Denny said. “I’m excited to see how we’ll play.”