Lyons Township High School senior Patrick Adams is returning to the IHSA boys tennis state meet with a new doubles partner but an old acquaintance.

In 2022, Adams finished 1-2 with then-senior Tiernan Kelly. This season, he’s playing with junior Luke Howell, who took tennis lessons from Adams during his first year of coaching at the La Grange Field Club in the summer of 2020.

“[Howell had] just graduated from middle school. It’s a little what are the odds,” Adams said. “We are pretty good right now. We’ve gotten some big wins.”

The Lions qualified all six players for state after winning the York Sectional on May 20 for their third straight sectional title. Top-four sectional finishers advance to state this weekend.

Juniors Mason Mazzone and Jack McLane (16-2) won doubles and should contend for all-state honors.

Freshman Shay Sweigard (16-9) was second in singles. Adams and Howell (16-8) and senior John Dunleavy (14-11) both finished fourth.

Mazzone is making his third state trip, each with a different doubles partner. McLane is making his second trip, last year going in singles.

“I’m definitely going in a lot more confident,” McLane said. “We’ve been playing pretty good all year and we’re hoping to get a pretty high seed.”

Mazzone and McLane won the sectional 6-2, 6-0 over Oak Park and River Forest seniors Trevor Wilson and Gabriel Wolter after losing just four games over three previous victories.

Sweigard lost his final to Kenwood freshman Nhylan Westmoreland 7-6 (2), 6-4. Adams and Howell lost their third-place match in three sets. Dunleavy won his state-qualifying match in the quarterfinals 7-6 (4), 6-4.

Three of Adams and Howell’s losses have come to powerful rival Hinsdale Central.

“I feel like we’ve put up a good fight in every match this year,” Adams said. “I think that two main-draw wins and some wins in the back draw would be good. I think that’s a very achievable goal for us.”

Mazzone and McLane finished second at No. 1 doubles at the prestigious Hersey Pitchford Tournament with a 4-1 record, only losing the final 7-5, 6-1 to New Trier’s Chris Ackerman and Stan Okesson, another sectional champion. Their other loss was to Glenbrook South in the Libertyville Tournament semifinals.

“The way we’ve been playing, it’s going to be hard to lose two out of three full sets,” Mazzone said.

The two began playing together during the offseason, including a couple of tournaments. Mazzone said while many doubles teams have both players attack the net, McLane also can be potent on the baseline.

“He’s able to hit passing shots really well. And just being a lefty, in general, with the serve is helpful,” Mazzone said. 

Mazzone has played with seniors at state each of the past two years. Including 2022 graduate Will Carroll, this is Mazzone’s second year playing with a left-handed partner.

“[Mazzone has] always been a good player. He’s a great teammate and great competitor who always goes out and plays hard,” McLane said.