Boys Tennis: Hubs bounce back with win over Mendota

Senior Alex Gilbert hits a forehand shot during the Rochelle Hub varsity tennis match against Mendota on Monday. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Rochelle netters defeat Trojans 4-1 on Monday

ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Hub varsity tennis team recovered from a tough road loss against Sterling this past week, defeating Mendota 4-1 in nonconference action Monday evening. The Hubs (11-2, 4-0 Interstate 8) will travel to face Newman Central Catholic on Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

Rochelle came through in both singles matches, with senior Jason Zheng beating Eulysses Preciado 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2 singles while senior Alex Gilbert secured a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Bryon Hampton at No. 1 singles. The Hubs are feeling confident as the Interstate 8 Conference meet approaches.

“Our confidence is at an all-time high right now,” Gilbert said. “The more we win, the more confidence we receive and I think that’s going to help us at the conference meet. Our consistency will be our biggest key for the remainder of the season. It’s starting to warm up outside and we’re tiring out more during our matches, but I think we’ve had the right mind set.”

Junior John Green and senior Peter Forsberg scored Rochelle’s first doubles point of the match, cruising over Tyler Valdez and Zach Compell 6-2, 6-3 at No. 2 doubles. Junior Nolan Fonfara and senior Devansh Patel endured a tough second set against Parker Guelde and Jacob Ensor at the No. 3 doubles court, holding off the Mendota doubles combo for a 6-1, 7-5 victory. 

“We’re very optimistic and we’re pretty confident in ourselves,” Forsberg said. “We’re thinking about the conference tournament a lot and I think our record this season has given us a lot of optimism for the postseason. We just need to keep playing like we have throughout the season and not let the pressure get to us. We have to look at each match like it’s just another match.”