2024 NewsTribune Boys Tennis Players of the Year: L-P’s Andrew Bollis and Danny Santoy

Doubles team won 22 matches, went undefeated in conference, placed second at sectional

L-P number one doubles team of Danny Santoy and Andrew Bollis are the 2024 NewsTribune tennis players of the year. The duo posed for a photo on Tuesday, June 4, 2024 at the L-P Athletic Complex in La Salle.

Coming into an athletic season, La Salle-Peru senior Andrew Bollis always has one main goal.

“What you’re looking for is improvement from year to year,” he said.

Bollis and his tennis partner Danny Santoy, a junior, certainly made a big leap forward this spring.

Last year, Bollis and Santoy went 10-14, placed fourth in the Interstate 8 Conference Tournament and took third at the sectional.

This season, the Cavaliers’ No. 1 doubles team more than doubled its win total at 22-10, including a 5-0 mark in conference duals, and finished as runner-up at the conference tournament and the Class 1A La Salle-Peru Sectional.

For all they accomplished this season, Bollis and Santoy are the 2024 NewsTribune Boys Tennis Players of the Year.

“I thought Danny and Andrew had a great season,” L-P coach Aaron Guenther said. “I know they were super focused from the get go. Both of them put in a lot of work in the offseason both physically to get themselves in shape but also tennis wise, they were going to Sterling to get hitting in and they were playing tournaments in the offseason. They definitely put in a bunch of work to have the kind of successful season they did.”

Bollis and Santoy played in a summer tournament in Ottawa and worked at the Westwood Tennis Center in Sterling.

“(We improved our) finishing up at the net,” Bollis said. “We kind of dominated when we were both up and took over the match from there whenever we got that chance.”

LaSalle-Peru's Andrew Bollis returns the ball as he competes in the Class 1A Boys Doubles State Tennis Tournament on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at Rolling Meadows High School in Rolling Meadows.

Guenther said the pair’s familiarity with each other helped them improve their consistency and their ability to finish a point at the net.

“It was nice because they knew what the strengths and weaknesses were of not only themselves but their partner’s and them as s team, so they were able to go into the offseason focusing on how to improve those weaknesses and how to emphasize their strengths,” Guenther said. “Being familiar with one another and what they bring to the table as a team, they were really able to work out some of the kinks in the offseason.”

Santoy said he and Bollis “came in more confident,” which led to a strong start to the season.

“I think we came in hot,” Bollis said. “One of our first matches against Sycamore we played really well and from there I was like, ‘Alright, we have a chance to beat every opponent we play.’”

Bollis and Santoy found success despite dealing with some health ailments.

Bollis broke his wrist during basketball season and dealt with that and forearm issues throughout tennis season.

“(It bothered me) a little bit,” Bollis said. “I would have it taped every day. I still have a chip on the outside (of the wrist), but once I got going it wasn’t really noticeable.

“It wouldn’t have been possible without L-P’s athletic training staff. I was in there every single day from the middle of basketball season all the way to the end of tennis season. Without them, I don’t think I’d be in the same spot.”

Santoy said L-P’s athletic trainers helped him through back and shoulder issues.

Guenther said Bollis had some trouble with his wrist early in the season but found ways to work around it by midseason.

Despite the injury, Bollis managed to finish his career as a four-time state qualifier.

“He worked really hard to make sure that he did qualify for state every year,” Guenther said. “He was constantly hitting, constantly playing in tournaments honing his craft and in the weight room getting better. When he has a goal in mind, he goes out and does whatever he needs to do to accomplish that.”

Bollis will continue his tennis career at the University of Dubuque.

“Honestly, my goal is to get better and work with people who are better than me to find a way to get myself to be the best I can,” Bollis said.

Santoy will be back with the Cavaliers next season playing with a new partner.

“He’s put in so much work that I have no doubt he’s going to put in the sweat equity this summer to continue to get better,” Guenther said. “I think next year he knows he’s going to need to step up and be the leader of the doubles team that he’s on and he’s going to need to set an example for his teammates on how hard they need to work to be successful.”

Santoy said he plans to put the time in this offseason.

“I expect my partner and I to do well like Andrew and I because I’m prepared,” Santoy said. “I’m going to put in extra work in the offseason and summer.”

L-P's Danny Santoy plays tennis against Ottawa at the Henderson-Guenther Tennis Facility on Monday, Monday, May 6, 2024 at Ottawa High School.
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