The Oak Park and River Forest High School boys tennis team saw three players qualify for the IHSA state meet at the IHSA Class 2A York Sectional on May 20. As a team, the Huskies finished second with 24 points, six behind champion Lyons Township.

“We did really well,” said OPRF coach John Morlidge. “I’m very happy to qualify two entrants [totaling three players]. We haven’t done that in a while.”

In singles, sophomore Eli Stein finished third. After a first-round bye, he defeated Finnegan Wambay of Riverside-Brookfield 6-1, 6-0 and then rolled past Proviso East’s Tudor Abuzatoale by the same score in the quarterfinals.

Stein lost his semifinal to Lyons Township’s Shay Sweigard 2-6, 6-7 (5-7), but rebounded to beat John Dunleavy of LT 7-6 (7-6), 6-2 for third place.

“Eli did great,” Morlidge said. 

The Huskies’ No. 1 singles player, sophomore Alex Dolipschi, won his opening match 6-0, 6-1 over Proviso East’s Alexander Cuevas, but lost a hard-fought quarterfinal to Dunleavy 6-7 (4-7), 4-6.

“Alex had a real heartbreaker,” Morlidge said. “He came very close to qualifying. Between Alex and Eli, we’re looking strong in singles next year.”

Seniors Trevor Wilson and Gabriel Wolter also qualified for OPRF in doubles. The Huskies’ No. 1 duo had a first-round bye, then breezed past Szymon Wajtasik and Santiago Ruiz of Leyden 6-1, 6-0 in the second round. 

Wilson and Wolter blanked Riverside-Brookfield’s Ian Dimaano and Ian Lenaghan 6-0, 6-0 in the quarterfinals and knocked off Luke Howell and Patrick Adams of Lyons Township 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) in the semifinals. 

In the title match against Jack McLane and Mason Mazzone of Lyons Township, the sectional’s top seed, Wilson and Wolter lost 2-6, 6-7 (7-9).

“Trevor and Gabe lost in the final to a team that’s one of the top four in the state,” Morlidge said. “That wasn’t a disappointing loss and I’m really happy with what they did.”

The Huskies’ No. 2 doubles team of juniors Cameron Khaledan and Will Neumann defeated Enea Zani and Layne Hammer of Leyden 6-0, 6-1, but lost in the quarterfinals to York’s Anthony Arnieri and Brennen Maxeiner 2-6, 1-6.

“Cameron and Will had a good tournament,” Morlidge said. 

Morlidge hopes OPRF can advance to the second day of the state tournament, which is on May 26. That will depend on how the draws look for Stein and Wilson/Wolter.

“If you can make it to Friday, that’s outstanding,” he said. “I don’t think we’ll be seeded, so it makes for a tough climb. You’ve got to hope for a good draw, and battle.”

The IHSA state tournament takes place May 25-27 at Palatine High School.

Join the discussion on social media!