Gan, GBS look to continue raising level of game
GLENBROOK SOUTH BOYS TENNIS PREVIEW
16-2 dual-meet record, 4-1 in Central Suburban League South (2nd place); 1st place at Schaumburg Sectional; tied for 5th at state meet
RETURNING STATE QUALIFIER:
Senior Will Lyon (doubles)
OTHER VARSITY RETURNEES
Glenbrook South senior Will Lyon is a returning state doubles qualifier. (Photo by Tony Orona www.tophoto.smugmug.com)
: Seniors Ross Gan, Wyatt Jason, Zach Libman and Steve Kim; and junior Michael Baddeloo
Juniors Jake Janecek, Nick Wilkas, Andreas Mastoracos and Dan Schwartz; and sophomores Gavin McClanahan, Dan Colombo and Siddharth Rajan
: GBS senior Ross Gan’s ascension from last season to the top of the Titans’ lineup this year was a big move up, but coach Larry Faulkner says early returns prove it is well justified.
“He’s done a really, really nice job,” Faulkner said. “I’ve been pleased with his performance playing No. 1. He was No. 3 doubles last year, and to move that high up in the lineup is really amazing. He’s done an excellent job.”
The Titans tied for fifth at state last year, but graduated four of their five qualifiers, including Mike Sellitto and Mike Levin, who were state runners-up in doubles.
Besides Gan, Faulkner has seen many Titans excel early on with a higher standing in the lineup than last year. Senior Wyatt Jason played primarily No. 3 and 4 doubles a year ago, and takes over the No. 2 singles spot, while returning state doubles qualifier Will Lyon will move up to No. 1 doubles along with junior Mike Baddeloo, who played No. 3 doubles last year. Lyons finished 3-2 at state last year with Luke McCanna, including two backdraw wins.
Faulkner is hoping by the time the postseason comes around, Lyon and Baddeloo will be primed for qualifying for state.
“They’re a nice team, and I hope they’re able to qualify for state because they’re good enough to do that,” Faulkner said. “There may be a match where they play some singles, because they’re both very capable of it, but right now they’re my No. 1 team. I plan on keeping them there.
“I think they’ve both improved their return of serve and their net play. Their reflexes are much quicker in volleying back. The speed of the game is faster and they’ve done a really nice job with that.”
Promising sophomore and varsity newcomer Gavin McClanahan will vie for the No. 2 or 3 singles spot, and also can be used in Faulkner’s doubles lineup. Returnee Steve Kim should also be a fixture on GBS’ No. 2 doubles team with teammates Dan Schwartz, Zach Libman, Dan Colombo, Nick Wilkas and Jake Janecek all in the mix.
Defending CSL South champion and state runner-up New Trier remains the favorite to win conference once again. GBS clearly separated itself as the second best team in conference last year, but Faulkner anticipates a much tougher battle for that spot this season.
“Evanston has a real nice team and they have a lot of seniors, so I expect that will be a very tough match for us,” Faulkner said. “I think Maine South has their No. 1 and 2 back from last year, so that makes them a lot tougher. Niles West didn’t graduate a lot of kids. Everybody is going to be tougher for us, but I think we’ve got enough to still finish second.”
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