Boys tennis: Princeton has historic 19-1 season

Tigers won first 19 matches before falling to Morris

The Princeton Tigers finished 19-1 this spring behind the strength of Chase Sims (left), Jackson Mason, Tyson Phillips, Ben Anderson, Michael Ellis and Asa Gartin.

One match.

One game.

That’s how close the Princeton boys tennis team came from perfection this spring.

The Tigers won their first 19 matches of the season, before dropping their last match of the season to Morris, 3-2.

Still it did not dampen a brilliant season with many net gains.

They won every tournament they entered, finishing first in their own Invitational along with the Rochelle and Mendota invitationals, and placing second at sectional.

The 19 wins is the most by any of longtime coach Connie Lind’s teams, boys or girls.

Only her 2012 girls team that finished 14-0 had a better winning percentage.]

Senior Tyson Phillips, a team captain with classmates Ben Anderson and Michael Ellis, said it was a fun season.

“Our season was a blast, and I think what made it so successful was our teamwork and dedication. Everyone on the team had a passion to play and get better,” he said. “It was a bit disappointing to drop that last match to Morris, but on the flip side, I believe it re-focused some of us which helped us place second as a team in sectionals.

“Overall it was a very exciting season.”

Lind said the Tigers put their foot on the gas pedal and never let off.

“From the very beginning the boys started keeping track of the number of wins. This was definitely a team effort. If someone was struggling they always found a way to lift them up,” she said.

“We will have some big shoes to replace next year, but I’m confident this team will succeed in doing that.”

Here’s a look at the players that made the historic season happen:

No. 1 singles - Tyson Phillips (Sr.): The Tiger captain qualified for State for the third year in a row, placing third at the LaSalle-Peru sectional. He won all three tournaments the Tigers played in, finishing with a 21-8 record.

Phillips will continue playing tennis at IVCC next year.

Princeton's Tyson Phillips makes a return against Coal City Monday. The Tigers won 5-0 to improve to 10-0.

No. 2 singles - Chase Sims (Jr.): He placed fourth at sectional to punch his first ticket to State where he won one of three matches. He had a 26-4 record, including first-place finishes at all three tournaments. The 26 wins is the most by any PHS individual/doubles team in school history.

Princeton's Chase Sims makes a return against Coal City Monday. The Tigers won 5-0 to improve to 10-0.

No. 1 doubles - Ben Anderson (Sr.) & Michael Ellis (Sr.): The Tigers’ top doubles duo of senior captains Anderson and Ellis finished 15-10, with second-place finishes at the Princeton and Rochelle Invitationals and fourth at the Mendota Invitational.

Seniors Ben Anderson (left) and Michael Ellis went 15-10 at No. 1 doubles for the Tigers this season.

No. 2 doubles - Jackson Mason (So.) & Asa Gartin (Jr.): The Tigers tandem won their first 24 matches of the season, not losing until the third round at sectional to the No. 1 seed, Metamora, in the third set 6-4. Their 24-1 record is the best by any PHS doubles team.

Jackson mason (left) and Asa Gartin went 24-1 at No. 2 doubles for the Tigers this season.

No. 3 doubles - Josh Orwig (Sr.) & Landon Davis (So.): The Tiger doubles had just one loss, finishing 14-1, including first-place finishes at the Coal City JV Invitational and the Rochelle Invitational.

Josh Orwig (left) and Landon Davis went 14-1 at No. 3 doubles for the Tigers this season.
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