ROCHELLE — With four matches completed, attention immediately turned to the No. 2 doubles court at Rochelle Township High School on Thursday, when Hub junior Peter Forsberg and sophomore Owen Haas found themselves in a grueling battle against LaSalle-Peru netters Traeger Abens and Andrew Bollis to decide the winner of the Interstate 8 Conference meet.
The Cavalier combo bested Forsberg and Haas in the opening set, but the Hubs showed great resiliency throughout the roughly three-hour-long match, outlasting Bollis and Abens in both the second and third set to win 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (11-9). The No. 2 doubles victory sealed Rochelle’s second consecutive Interstate 8 win, with the Hubs ultimately defeating LaSalle-Peru 3-2.
Rochelle improved to 3-7 overall with the victory. The Hubs split the two singles matches against the Cavaliers on Thursday, with junior Alex Gilbert cruising over Alex Lucero 6-3, 6-2 at No. 2 singles while sophomore David Wanner fell 3-6, 3-6 to Joe Pohar at No. 1 singles.
“We’re feeling pretty good and I think our chemistry has improved over the last couple of weeks,” Gilbert said. “I think I’ve improved a lot over our last few weeks and I’ve been a lot more consistent. That will be the key for me moving forward. Staying consistent and not hurting ourselves during meets will be important for us and we need to give our best effort.”
The Hubs took a 2-1 lead after play concluded on the No. 3 doubles court, where sophomore John Green and freshman Parker Lenkaitis took down Noah Sherman and Elijah Arthurs 6-0, 6-2. LaSalle-Peru evened the match with a win at No. 1 doubles, where Rochelle juniors Jason Zheng and Devansh Patel fell 2-6, 5-7 against Cavalier duo Adam Sarabia and Gavin Jonassen. Haas and Forsberg secured the third and deciding point with their No. 2 doubles victory.