Here's how the Springfield area's boys tennis players are faring at the 2023 state finals
PALATINE — Maybe Chicago Latin has Springfield High’s number.
For the second straight season, at least one of its doubles teams negated Springfield’s Noah Williams and David Lu from achieving their ultimate goal.
Chicago Latin’s Kiyan Alsikafi and Zuhair Alsikafi — a 3-4 seed — defeated the No. 2 seed Williams and Lu, 6-3, 7-5 in the third-place doubles match on Saturday at the Illinois High School Association boys state tennis finals at Palatine High School.
On Friday, 3-4 seed Jake Goldstein and Mark Tismensky of Chicago Latin downed the Senators duo with a 6-3, 6-3 win in the semifinals. The same fate happened last season when Williams and Lu lost to a Chicago Latin team in the state quarterfinals and handed them their only loss of the tournament as the Senators eventually finished fifth.
This season’s fourth-place finish was still a gratifying one for Williams and Lu. The pair entered the meet undefeated and won their quarterfinal match on Friday by beating 5-8 seed Aiden Belsley and Blake Shoemaker of Morton 6-3, 6-1. That gave Springfield four more points in the team standings for a total of 16, and it finished the tournament tied for fifth with Chicago University.
The No. 1 seeded team of Zach Bobofchak and Hugh Davis from Lisle Benet Academy beat Goldstein and Tismensky 6-3, 6-4 in the championship match.
Chicago Latin steamrolled to its third straight team championship, rolling up 44 points. Lisle Benet placed second with 20 points, Champaign Central had 18 for third place and Dunlap finished fourth with 17.
Williams and Lu cruised to victory in their first three matches on Thursday to get to the quarterfinal round. They lost just three games, beating Hudson Shaw and Dane Hutchison of Metamora 6-0, 6-0 in the first round and then recording a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Chase Boester and Yajath Narra, a Central State Eight Conference foe from Normal U-High, in the second round. The Springfield duo blitzed Highland's Grant Fleming and Will Lindsco 6-2, 6-0 in the third round.
The Senators top doubles team also got help from sophomore Krish Khurana in singles and the second doubles team of Bryce Pound and Will Wang.
Khurana, unseeded, gave Springfield four coveted points on Thursday when he won two straight singles matches in the championship bracket.
He defeated Connor Barth of Morris 6-3, 7-5 and then knocked off Wauconda's Sean Lenhart 7-5, 6-3 in the first two rounds. Khurana tested eventual third-place finisher Akshay Garapati of Chicago Latin in the third round but succumbed in the second set to lose 7-6 (3), 6-1.
Khurana ended his singles tournament on Friday when he was beaten by Morton’s Carter Kendall 6-1, 6-0 in the consolation’s fourth round to finish 2-2.
The unseeded team of Pound and Wang got eliminated from the tournament after a 2-2 finish on Thursday. Pound and Wang lost their first match in a third-set tiebreak, falling to Alex Slaymaker and Sam Mosbarger of Geneseo 4-6, 6-1, 10-3.
Pound and Wang did not play a seeded team and won two consecutive matches over teams from Crystal Lake South (6-2, 6-1) and Darien Hinsdale South (7-6 (5), 6-4) in straight sets, before ending the tournament with a 6-4, 6-3 loss to Olney Richland County's Julien Derome and Jarrett Doll in the consolation's third round.
SHG doubles teams had their moments
Sacred Heart-Griffin sent two doubles teams to the meet, and both ended their tournament with a 2-2 record on Thursday.
Jeff Wernsing and Luke Harvey, seeded 9-16, fell in their first match to unseeded Wyatt Jurgensmeyer and Nate Gettinger of Mascoutah 6-4, 6-1 in the first round. SHG bounced back by dominating Rockford Lutheran's Cory Henry and Visvai Subramanian 6-0, 6-0 in consolation play, and then upended Andrew Carter and Ethan Stewart of Troy Triad 2-6, 6-4, 10-6.
The tournament came to an end for Wernsing and Harvey, losing to Manaye Mossman and Aidan Tegeler of Effingham St. Anthony 7-5, 6-4 in the consolation's third round.
For SHG's Evan Aleman and Adam Wheeling, the tournament also ended in the consolation's third round. Aleman and Wheeling had a difficult draw in the first round and were defeated by 5-8 seed Marc Froidcoeur and Dillon Henderson of Troy Triad 6-4, 6-2.
Aleman and Wheeling beat a team from Carmi White County (6-0, 6-3) and needed a third-set tiebreaker to eliminate Milan Ravel and Rudra Kukian of Vernon Hills 6-3, 2-6, 10-6. It ended when Aurora Central Catholic's Adam Hartford and Elijah Hartford defeated the SHG tandem 6-2, 6-3.
Chatham Glenwood and Rochester each sent one singles player to the state finals, and both were eliminated on Thursday.
Rochester junior Paxton Garland-Sutter, who finished fourth at the Chatham Glenwood Sectional, won a pair of matches. Garland-Sutter defeated Jorge Crespo of Casey Westfield 6-2, 6-0 in Round 1. Scott Anderson, a 5-8 seed from Peoria Notre Dame, posted a 6-1, 6-0 win over Garland-Sutter in the second round.
Garland-Sutter stayed alive by winning 6-3, 6-4 over Princeton's Tyson Phillips until he ended the tournament with a 7-5, 6-1 loss to Aashish Pentela of Dunlap 7-5, 6-1 in the consolation's third round.
Glenwood junior Ubaydah Mahmood, playing in his first state finals, finished the tournament with a 1-2 record after losing his first-round match.
Mahmood placed second at the sectional and opened state with an unfavorable draw. He lost to 5-8 seed Bryton Short of Metamora 6-2, 6-0. Mahmood then beat Rockford Lutheran's Benjamin Temple 6-4, 6-3 and concluded with a 6-2, 6-1 loss to Alex Fei of Dunlap.
Hiredesai completes journey
Normal U-High senior Abhay Hiredesai ended a strong run at state with a sixth-place finish in singles. The unseeded Hiredesai was victorious in three championship bracket matches and reached the quarterfinals, losing 6-1, 7-5 to Garapati.
He regrouped and won two more matches in the consolation draw before falling to Champaign Central’s Ezra Bernhard 6-2, 6-4 in the fifth-place match.
Hiredesai, the CS8 singles champ from 2022, failed to repeat this season when he lost in the semifinals to Mahmood and ended with a third-place medal. Hiredesai lost to Williams in the CS8 championship match in 2021.
This article originally appeared on State Journal-Register: IHSA boys tennis: Springfield area results for 2023 state finals