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State tennis tidbits

News and notes from Thursday's opening rounds of the IHSA boys tennis state tournament:

• East junior Jasper Koenen lost just two games in starting 3-0.

"I was on and off the court pretty fast, so I definitely conserved some energy for tomorrow and tomorrow's big match," he said. "That's a plus."

A cool, brisk opening day of the state tournament offered a stark contrast to last season's balmy conditions.

"It was cold, it was windy. The sun was shining. The sun wasn't shining," Koenen said. "But it wasn't raining, and I'll take that."

• Three seasons, three doubles partners, three Friday consolation berths.

Marmion senior Jackson Rettig knows the situation that faces him Friday. He's anxious to chart new ground with John Graft.

"This is the same thing that's happened to me the past two years and on the second day I haven't played well," said Rettig, a senior from Sugar Grove. "I'm just looking forward to tomorrow to take advantage of the opportunity and play the best i can. Just like, redemption, you could say."

Graft faced one half of Marmion's opposition in Friday's fourth-round consolation match "back in the day."

Graft squared off against Evanston's Sam Wiener – who'll team with Connor Woolf – when he was 12 or 14.

"I haven't played him in awhile, but I've seen him play, know he's a good player and am looking forward to competing," Graft said.

• East senior Justin Bowman ends his career as the program's winningest player. A four-time state qualifier headed to Wisconsin-Whitewater, Bowman went 104-27.

• Geneva coach John Nickelson on his two doubles teams – John Potts and Nick McCarty played four matches Thursday while Ryan Doeckel and Nick Huang played two:

"It was really exciting to be able to advance the two doubles teams into the state tournament. Both groups played really well together."


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