The boys tennis season is underway. Here are previews of teams in the Kane County Chronicle coverage area.
Coach: Brad Nelson
Top returners: Jacob Arulandu, senior; Liam Keane, senior; Kohl Winkle, senior
Top newcomers: Noah Johnson, senior; Stu Murchie, sophomore
Worth noting: Batavia returns its entire lineup. Leading the way is Winkle, who placed fourth at sectionals and made it to two rounds at the state tournament last year. Winkle will return at No. 1 singles and leads an intriguing roster. Arulandu will be at No. 2 singles. Keane is back after battling injury.
“Everyone has worked hard in the offseason and we have improved at every position. We are hoping to challenge for a conference title and send some guys to state. Winkle and McClure are three-year varsity players,” Nelson said.
Coach: Ryan Barabasz
Top returners: Joe Adams, senior; Danny Cappelli, junior; Ryan Cedergren, senior
Top newcomer: Tyler Masoncup, freshman
Worth noting: Geneva graduated its state-qualifying doubles team of Cal McKittrick and Sam Mickus. Adams, Cappelli and Cedergren are expected to be the top trio for Geneva this season. Adams will be at the No. 1 singles spot after transitioning from No. 3 doubles last year. Cedergren will be playing No. 1 doubles with Masoncup.
“Tyler’s tennis IQ is off the charts and we are excited for the freshman/senior duo,” Barabasz said. “We have a couple of other returnees such as Joe Black and Donovan Del Mundo, but are a squad that put in a lot of offseason work to improve as a whole. We have a couple of juniors that have been excited for the opportunity to play on the varsity level after a solid JV season.”
Coach: Larry King
Top returners: Josh Bruncscheen, senior; Caleb Hwang, senior; Aden Mumm, senior
Top newcomer: Aden Pawlak, senior
Worth noting: Kaneland returns 13 from last year and brings in eight newcomers. Bruncscheen finished third in the Interstate Eight in singles play last year. Mumm was 5-6 and 3-3 in conference play. Matt Manugas and Sam Regelbrugge return for their second year as a doubles duo.
“The players have put in the work in the offseason to strengthen fundamentals and challenge teams in conference and nonconference play,” King said. “The team goal is to have an individual or doubles team qualify for state. We look forward to our first full season and what the season brings.”
St. Charles East
Coach: Robert Livermore
Top returners: Quincy Moss, junior; Sam Evans, junior; Tiernan Price, sophomore
Top newcomer: Alex Sternowski, freshman
Worth noting: The Saints graduated eight from last year’s varsity team. Moss went to state last year in doubles. Evans, who played No. 1 singles last year, also is a key returnee. Sternowski will be pushing for consistent varsity minutes.
“[Sternowski is] going to fit in well with the returning players and big crew of juniors who have moved up into the varsity level,” Livermore said.
St. Charles North
Coach: Sean Masoncup
Top returners: Brady Barnes, junior; Mattas Ciabilis, senior
Top newcomer: Cole Weddle, freshman
Worth noting: 2021 Kane County Chronicle Player of the Year Ciabilis is back for what is expected to be a strong senior year after his top 32 finish at the state tournament. Barnes, who shuffled a bit at No. 1 and No. 2 doubles last year, was a top-four DuKane Conference finisher. Noah Bajuk and Jon Spicer return at No. 1 doubles. They were one match away from qualifying for state last year.
“We look to be very competitive and hopefully build on our third-place finish last year in conference,” Masoncup said.
Coach: Tom Castronovo
Top returners: Kory Carlson, senior; Joey Castaldo, junior; Liam Galbraith, senior
Top newcomer: Asher Johnson
Worth noting: St. Francis was third in the Metro Suburban Conference and second at sectionals last year. The lone individual to qualify for state was Carlson. He returns after a state quarterfinal appearance. An all-conference and Illinois tennis coaches all-state team honoree, Carlson should be one of the top players in the area. The Spartans return only five from last season.
“With such a young team, it’s tough to say how we’ll do. But we have an enthusiastic group of 12 varsity players including one freshman who are looking forward to competing,” Castronovo said.