For the first time in school history, the Sauk Valley men’s tennis team has earned a berth at the NJCAA National Championships, placing second at the Region IV Tournament on Sunday in the Chicago suburbs.
Preston Engel was named Tournament MVP and Singles Regional Champion after taking the No. 1 singles title. He won his semifinal, 6-1, 6-3, over Mike Sims of College of Lake County, then notched a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Prairie State’s Victor Dieltens in the title match. Both wins avenged losses earlier in the season.
Jonathon Rhodes and Imanol Aburto won the title at No. 3 doubles, topping the duo from CLC, 7-6 (4), 2-6, 10-8, in a hard-fought final.
Daniel Ferguson (No. 2 singles) and Rhodes (No. 5 singles) both took third, as did Engel and Ferguson at No. 1 doubles. Aburto (No. 6 singles) and the team of Zach Wallace and Jacob Terveer (No. 2 doubles) finished fourth.
CLC won the team title with 20.5 points, with Sauk Valley (12.5) and Illinois Valley (6.5) taking second and third. The Skyhawks will travel to Plano, Texas, for the national tournament May 16-21.
Kewanee 9, Newman 2: Ady Waldschmidt had a pair of hits and Kennedy Rowzee had two RBIs, but the Comets (3-1) fell to the Boilermakers on Monday.
Waldschmidt was in the circle for Newman, striking out five and allowing four hits and three earned runs.
Erie-Prophetstown 10, Bureau Valley 0, 6 inn.: The Panthers cruised to a six-inning win in Manlius.
Aylah Jones had a pair of hits for Erie-Prophetstown.
Corrie Remley struck out nine in six shutout innings in the circle for EP. Tyra Sayler pitched six innings for the Storm and struck out six.
Orangeville 13, West Carroll 0, 4 inn.: The Thunder were unable to keep up with the Broncos, who broke things open with an eight-run third inning.
Alee Schleuning went 2-for-2 with a double and was hit by a pitch for West Carroll. Madison Magill and Emily Watkins also had hits.
Erie-Prophetstown 16, Bureau Valley 0, 4 inn.: The Panthers scored early and often, with six runs in the first, two each in the second and third, and six in the fourth for a win in Manlius.
Jamie Miner struck out eight in four innings on the mound for the Panthers while limiting the Storm to three hits.
Bryce Rosenow and Logan Wunderlich each had three hits for EP. Wunderlich, Rosenow and Dawson VanHorn all drove in two runs.
Newman 4, United Township 1: The Comets swept the doubles portion of the meet, and also got a 6-2, 6-4 win from Marvel Zhang at No. 1 singles.
Tyler Bonnell and James Rhodes won, 6-2, 7-6 (5), at No. 1 doubles; Kody Brininger and Logan Palmer won, 6-4, 2-6, 10-7, at No. 2; and Brady Partington and Carson Palmer won, 7-6 (7), 7-6 (5), at No. 3 for Newman.
The Comets also played in the Camanche (Iowa) Invitational on Saturday, where Logan Palmer won a pair of titles. He took first at No. 5 singles, and teamed with Zhang to win at No. 3 doubles. Zhang was third at No. 1 singles, and Thomas Powers placed third at No. 6 singles.