ELGIN – New coach, same result for the Batavia boys tennis team after Saturday's conclusion of the two-day Upstate Eight Conference River Division tournament.
Under first-year coach Brad Nelson, who also guides the girls program, the Bulldogs won their second straight River title after winning in 2012 under former longtime coach Bob Kummer.
Unofficially, the Bulldogs won with 68 points, followed by St. Charles North (65), St. Charles East (62) and Geneva (51).
“It feels good to win as a team, said Batavia’s Tim Murat, who defeated Geneva’s Nick McCarty, 6-2, 6-7 (9-11), 6-2 in the final at No. 2 singles. “We feel really good for coach Nelson getting this title in his first year. That is a really nice present to give to our coach. We all feel really good about how we played.”
North entered the tournament in third place in the River after the duals season and left feeling great about its second-place finish.
"The way we played doubles [Friday] was beyond belief,” North Stars coach Sean Masoncup said. “All you can ask for is to allow yourself to be great, do the best you can, and we did that.
“Batavia is a great team. Now we move on to the sectional.”
At No. 1 singles, Dom Amalraj of North defeated Ryan Sterling of Batavia, 6-4, 6-1, in the final.
"I had some back issues coming into the tournament, but I was OK today,” Amalraj said. "I felt good with how I played today. I hit my shots, was consistent and took advantage of what I had to work with.”
Murat said he did not know what went wrong during the second set of his final against McCarty, but was happy with how he came back in the third set.
“I was all over the place in the second set,” he said. “The only thing I could do was wash away what happened in the second set.
"I had to work in the third set to get my rhythm back. I couldn’t think about how bad I played in the second set. I just needed to think about what adjustments I needed to make to play better.
In third singles, Matt Ernst of North defeated Drake Swift of Batavia in the final, 6-2, 7-5
At No. 1 doubles, North’s Grant Spellman and Keith Hedges defeated Batavia’s Adam Maris and Jeff Lorden, 6-4, 7-6 (7-5), in the final.
At No. 2 doubles, Batavia’s Josh Boyle and Andrew Nelson came back for a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over North’s Mitch Riggs and Peter O’Brien.
East picked up title at third singles as Connor Anderson and Steve Waynick outlasted Geneva’s Quade Spellman and Curran McQuillan, 6-2, 6-3.
"Day 1 was a tough day for us. Day 2 was a really good day for us,” East coach Rob Livermore said. “We got a championship and a bunch of third places. Third doubles played great."
Said Geneva coach John Nickelson: "We did a pretty good job. We were shooting for a couple of championships and ended up second. But we played well, so I can’t complain. There were a lot of other good teams here."
At fourth doubles, Batavia’s Tom Guillemot and Emerson Hinzy outlasted North’s Thomas Ninan and Matthew Kramer, 6-1, 6-4.