How Rockford-area tennis players fared at state
Rockford players had a short stay at the IHSA state boys tennis tournament. Two doubles teams won one match and a singles player won two, but all local entries were eliminated by the end of the first day of the three-day tournament.
Belvidere North's doubles team of Ben Leake and Jack Stolp were the only area players to win a match in the championship bracket, and they did so easily — rolling over a pair of brothers from Oak Forest 6-0, 6-1 in Class 1A. But they then lost their next two matches.
Auburn senior Sharankumar Kamaraj, the NIC-10 and sectional runner-up, and Rochelle's two-time Interstate-8 doubles champions David Wanner and Owen Haas were the only local players to win a consolation match. Kamaraj lost 6-0, 6-2 to a top-16 seed from Hinsdale Central in the first round in Class 2A. He then won two consolation matches to become the last area player standing before losing in the third consolation round. Wanner and Haas lost in the second consolation round in Class 1A.
Also in Class 1A, Lutheran's sectional singles champ Ben Temple went 0-2 in a pair of fairly close 6-4, 6-3 defeats. Lutheran's Cory Henry and Visvai Subramanian went 0-2 in doubles, as did Rockford Christian's Gianni Racanelli and Mats Tuneberg. In singles, Belvidere North's Jack Dickerson and Spencer Kohls and Belvidere's Charles Leonard each went 0-2.
In Class 2A, Hononegah freshman Braden Monson, who upset Kamaraj in the NIC-10 finals but lost to him at sectionals, fell 6-1, 6-2 in the first round against Naperville Neuqua Valley. Monson then suffered the toughest defeat of any local player, falling 11-9 in a super-tiebreaker in his first consolation match to Sam Panagopoulos of Mt. Prospect after winning the second set 6-1.
More: How Rockford Christian tennis player gutted it out to reach the state title match
In doubles, Auburn's Austin Altangeral and Armaan Farokhi went 1-2 on the day, while Hononegah's Erik Johnson and Austin Kirwin and Harlem's Logan Lawson and Ayden Mabrey lost both of their matches.
Rockford Christian's Finley Buelte (2nd last year, 6th in 2021) and Belvidere North's Anderson Park (2nd in 2017) have both recently won Class 1A state medals, but no area 1A pairing has ever placed in doubles. The last large-school state medalists from Rockford were Guilford's Austin Roos and Danny Park, who took sixth in doubles in 2009. The last area large-school singles medalists came in 1996, when Guilford's Kevin Park took second and Freeport's Derek Rasheed fourth.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, @matttrowbridge or 815-987-1383. Matt Trowbridge has covered sports for the Rockford Register Star for over 30 years, after previous stints in North Dakota, Delaware, Vermont and Iowa City.
This article originally appeared on Rockford Register Star: All Rockford-area tennis players eliminated on first day at state