The most successful player in Batavia boys tennis history is about as seasoned as they come, but senior Josh Cogan said his final day of high school tennis was “kind of a new experience” – for all the wrong reasons.
Cogan, who entered Friday’s second day of the IHSA state tournament 32-0 on the year and with expectations to match, was eliminated in a pair of straight-set losses to Naperville North’s Gordon Zhang and Homewood-Flossmoor’s Brad Holt.
As a junior, Cogan advanced to the final day of the three-day tournament before withdrawing due to injury.
“I was really looking forward to going deep in the tournament,” Cogan said. “I guess it just wasn’t my day, though.”
Cogan lost to Zhang, 6-3, 6-4, before a 6-0, 6-1 loss to Holt that Cogan said was more lopsided than any he can remember during his sparkling four-year career.
Outgoing Batavia coach Bob Kummer, coaching at his final state tournament, said “it’s hard to comprehend” the tournament taking such an unexpected turn for the typically even-keeled, efficient Cogan. Kummer said Cogan didn’t seem to bounce back emotionally after 9-16 seed Zhang knocked him into consolation play.
“He was very frustrated, and he had to play another really good player, the kid from Homewood-Flossmoor. ... He just took it to Josh,” Kummer said. “He wanted it a little bit more than Josh.”
Cogan said his usual rhythm escaped him Friday, but credited both opponents for playing high-level tennis. The three-time reigning Kane County Chronicle Player of the Year said the losses mean little in the grand scheme of his four years as a Bulldog.
“It’s never really been about playing for myself, high school tennis,” said Cogan, a Washington University (Mo.) recruit. “It’s always been about the team. Today really doesn’t mean anything to me. I just really appreciate all the memories and experiences I’ve had the past four years.”
Cogan entered Friday as the lone area contender in the winner’s bracket, but a player he defeated twice this season – St. Charles East sophomore Jasper Koenen – ending up lasting longest.
Koenen, who went 2-1 on the first day of the tournament, eliminated three straight foes in consolation play Friday before falling to Warren’s Kristiyan Trukov, 7-5. 6-4, in a seventh round consolation match. He finished his season 28-5.
The highlight of Koenen’s day was a 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 victory against Oak Park-River Forest’s Jeremy Dixon.
“He was real proud of it,” East coach Rob Livermore said of Koenen. “Winning a three-setter after already having two matches and playing another seeded player, taking that in three, is something he was really proud of.”
While Cogan was a 5-8 seed on the singles side, St. Charles North’s Danny Oakes and Dom Amalraj commanded the same seed in doubles. Oakes and Amalraj beat Edwardsville’s Jared Zurliene and Jake Gingerich, 6-1, 6-2, before being eliminated by Bloomington’s Ricky Zamudio and Nathan Cavanaugh, 7-6 (6), 7-5 in a fifth round consolation match.
The other area entry to advance to Friday, the Marmion doubles team of Chris Pattermann and Jackson Rettig, lost their first match of the day in straight sets to a team from Libertyville.