At the Timothy Christian Sectional of the Class 1A state tennis playoffs, Fenwick tied with the host Trojans (12 points each) for second place. Montini won the sectional championship with 15 points.
Fenwick sophomore Carlos Gutierrez earned his return visit to state. He went 2-2 on the day, with one of his losses coming via an injury default in his last match. Prior to that setback, David Wood of Elmwood Park edged Gutierrez 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) in one of the best matches of the sectional.
In doubles, the Friars’ senior pair of Nico Halter and Mike Prabhu won two of four matches to earn a spot alongside Gutierrez at the state finals.
Gutierrez and Halter and the experienced Prabhu should represent the Friars well at state.
“Carlos had a great finish last year by going to the second day of the state finals,” Fenwick coach Gerard Sullivan said. “He’s played about 45 matches at big tournaments since last year’s state finals tournament. He’s a big, strong kid who has improved the technique on his strokes.
“Nico is our No. 2 singles but plays Carlos pretty close in practice. I have to say they are almost neck and neck. Nico is also our top doubles players.”
The Lions placed second with 14 points behind champion Hinsdale Central (24) at the Proviso West Sectional of the Class 2A state tennis tournament. Senior Jack Bernstein rolled into the singles final by winning five of six sets at 6-0.
Hinsdale Central’s Zach Elliott derailed Bernstein’s momentum in the championship match, however, with a 6-3, 7-5 win against the Lions’ top player. Nevertheless, Bernstein qualified for the state finals with a strong 3-1 showing at Proviso West.
In doubles, the Lions’ state-qualifying team of Tanner Burke and Demetri Triantafel reached the semifinals with two hard fought wins. Sectional champion Trevor Hamilton and Andrew Buhelos of Hinsdale Central defeated Burke/Triantafel 6-3, 6-0 in the semifinals.
The Bulldogs finished sixth with eight points at the Oak Park and River Forest Sectional in 2A action. Singles players Will Dowling and Erik Roedel and the doubles team of James Martin and Frankie Filec each won a match for the Bulldogs.
In a tough sectional field of teams including the host Huskies, St. Ignatius, Whitney Young, Morton and Lincoln Park, RBHS failed to qualify any players for the state finals.
Lincoln Park’s Lennon Braeton won the singles title and Whitney Young’s Tyler Ballog and Justin Woods earned the doubles championship at OPRF.
Other state qualifiers included singles players Bobby Solberg (St. Ignatius), Nadrian Fiesta (Morton) and Sean Wangelin (OPRF), plus the doubles teams Jamieson Katz/Christian Forster (St. Ignatius), Ben Manola/Tommy McNeil (OPRF) and Elijah Carter/Ryan Murray (OPRF).