Wildcats tie against Tigers

The Wildcats went head-to-head with the Plainfield Central Tigers on April 15 in a fight-to-the-finish tennis match.
Fenil Patel lands a successful strike after jumping up to reach a ball high above him.
Fenil Patel lands a successful strike after jumping up to reach a ball high above him.
Photo by Fernando Arroyo Garcia

The boys’ tennis team was finally able to play against another school after having their meets with Larkin, Addison, and Bartlett canceled due to poor weather.

On Monday, April 15, the boys began warming up immediately after school – many had to change from their formal attire due to the government full session event that day. Plainfield Central arrived at 3:50 p.m. and was allotted time to warm-up, as they had traveled around 40 minutes to arrive at the West Chicago Community High School. As such, the game officially began at 4:15, and the players were separated into 6 groups of 4 doubles and 2 singles matches.

Peter Ashline, a junior, is about to serve the ball towards the opposing team. (Photo by Fernando Arroyo Garcia)

The first match concluded at around with a loss: players sophomore Lucas Rudden and senior Clarenz Bugay were shut out by Plainfield 0-6, and 0-6, though they fought hard.

The early loss left three doubles matches and two more singles matches still in play. All eyes turned to junior Peter Ashline and senior Fernando Calvillo-Morales, who were looking for a win. They lost their first match (0-6), but rallied slightly at the start of the second. However, Plainfield continued to dominate, and the final score remained at 2-6.

“It wasn’t that bad,” Rudden said, though West Chicago’s tennis team stood at 0-2 against Plainfield Central at this point in the meet.

While the Wildcats were at a disadvantage, at this point, the game was still up for grabs. An hour into the meet, play began to ramp up as two matches ended within minutes of each other. Players Peter O’Brien and Daniel Kuriakose, both juniors, turned the tables by bringing the team’s first win with scores of 6-4 and 6-2.

Junior Gilan Hosticka followed closely behind, ending his singles matches with yet another win for the team: 6-4 and 6-3.

“It was a good match. He was a good opponent but my serve was stronger. I came out with a win on top,” Hosticka said.

Junior and seasoned player Gilan Hosticka strikes the tennis ball with his racket. (Photo by Fernando Arroyo Garcia)

The new change of tide brought more motivation to the remaining players with the prospect of a potential win now that the total score was tied at 2-2. By now, the late game was in full session as both Plainfield Central and West Chicago were giving it their all in hopes of ending the game in their favor.

The last two games now remained with senior Graham Johnson in his singles match and juniors Fenil Patel and George Kotke competing in doubles.

About 15 minutes later, another loss was granted to the Wildcats as a result of Johnson’s losses, 4-6 and 2-6.

At this point, a win was out of the cards for West Chicago, but the boys’ tennis team stayed determined to bring out at least a tie and avoid a total loss. Patel and Kotke geared up for the final match of the game. The match was incredibly heated, not just because of the sun blazing down the player’s backs, but also the rapid, continuous play that only stopped for hydration breaks.

After a full three rounds, Fenil and Kotke managed to come out on top with a final scores of 6-2, 6-8 and 13-11. West Chicago and Plainfield Central tied, with both sides going 3-3.

“This game is only a step to our final destination,” O’Brien said, already looking forward to the next set of matches and IHSA Regionals.

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