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Tri-Cities tennis teams thrive at St. Charles East Sectional

Published: Saturday, May 24, 2014 7:33 p.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, May 25, 2014 10:29 a.m. CDT

ST. CHARLES – The Geneva, St. Charles East, St. Charles North and Wheaton Academy boys tennis teams all qualified players for next week's IHSA State Meet via the St. Charles East Sectional.  

The North Stars won the sectional meet with 22 points on Saturday. St. Charles East finished second with 20 points while the Vikings came in third with 17.  

East qualified a singles player and doubles team for the state meet. Jasper Koenen, the Saints' top singles player, notched his fourth straight sectional title in remaining unbeaten on the year. In the semifinals, Koenen defeated third-place finisher Chris Jones of Wheaton Academy, 6-1, 6-1. In the title match, Koenen beat Piotr Lada of Lake Park 6-0, 6-0.  

"It was awesome winning for the fourth time for the school and playing my last match here," Koenen said.

Koenen set a school record with 108 career victories this year, topping Justin Bowman (104 victories) for the most wins in St. Charles East history.  

"It's been a pleasure to have Jasper on the team for four years and see him accomplish so much," East coach Rob Livermore said. "He four-peated sectionals and it's an incredible accomplishment."

Koenen was fourth in singles at the State meet last year and is shooting for first place this year. To win the championship, Koenen has to win seven matches in three days.  

"It's definitely a tough three days. My mindset is to go in there and to capture a title for my school," Koenen said.

Koenen will have a doubles team accompany him to State. George Spoerl and Alex Winters qualified when they finished in fourth place after losing to Geneva.  

"We are extremely excited that we qualified a doubles team which we haven't done in a number of years," Livermore said.

St. Charles North qualified the doubles team of Aaron Amburgey and Grant Spellman. In the semifinals, Amburgey and Spellman defeated Spoerl and Winters, 6-1, 6-2.  The North Stars took on a tough Lake Park opponent in the finals and defeated Jack Millikan and Luke Szulczynski, 6-2, 6-3. 

"They (Lake Park) have a lot of energy and they had really solid ground strokes and serves. Our best way of beating them was to be more consistent," Amburgey said. 

According to Spellman, "It was especially nice to play and win against Lake Park. One of their players is kind of ambidextrous. He'll serve left handed and when it comes to playing out the point then he'll go back to his right hand. That adds another level of focus to take care of that shot."  

Spellman qualified for state for the third time while his Amburgey goes for the first time in Illinois after moving from Kentucky.

"I thought they played two great matches today," North coach Sean Masoncup said. "St. Charles East is a tough doubles team and they really took it to them. That Lake Park team came in second seed and they were 25-5.  We really took it at them and never allowed them to get the momentum. I was real impressed with how our guys served and kept their composure through the whole match."

Geneva qualified Nick Huang in singles after his fourth-place finish. Huang lost to Piotr Lada of Lake Park in the fourth round, 6-4, 7-6 (1).  A back injury kept Huang from finishing his final match against Jack Bell of Wheaton Academy. 

The Vikings also qualified their doubles team of Ryan Doeckel and John Potts for the state tournament. Doeckel and Potts finished in third place after they defeated Spoerl and Winters in the finals, 6-3, 6-2.

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