Boys Tennis: Rochelle records first shutout win of season

Juniors Owen Haas (left) and David Wanner (right) celebrate a point earned during the Rochelle Hub varsity tennis match against Freeport on Tuesday. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Hubs sweep Freeport 5-0 in nonconference action Tuesday evening

ROCHELLE — The Rochelle Hub varsity tennis team strung together its second dominant performance in two days, winning 5-0 over Freeport on Tuesday and recording its first shutout victory of the season. The Hubs (12-2, 4-0 Interstate 8) will hit the road to face Dixon on Friday at 4:30 p.m.

The Hubs are peaking at the right time as they look to secure their first conference title since 1949 this weekend. Rochelle’s seniors had no trouble in singles action, with Alex Gilbert dominating Nate Wilks 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1 singles and Jason Zheng handly defeating JC Herrera 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2 singles.

“I think we’re all getting hot at the right time and we’re hoping that will carry into the conference tournament,” Gilbert said. “I think all of the tough matches I’ve played this season have helped me improve and I’m hoping that experience will help me at the conference tournament.”

Action then moved over to the doubles courts, where Rochelle took all three points to seal the victory. Junior Nolan Fonfara and senior Devansh Patel teamed up for a clean 6-0, 6-0 sweep over Marco Calingacion and Saul Paliero-Juarez at No. 3 doubles, while junior John Green and senior Peter Forsberg downed David Helbling and Asher Kubly 6-1, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles.

“We’ve had a lot of meets where our three doubles teams have came through and we’ve had meets where we won both singles matches, so it was really nice to see everybody come through with a win today,” Forsberg said. “It’s a big confidence booster for us, especially since we have some tougher matches coming at the conference tournament this weekend.”

Rochelle and Freeport battled back and forth for the No. 1 doubles point, with juniors David Wanner and Owen Haas outlasting Owen Helm and John Helms 7-5, 7-6 (6) to clinch the team shutout. The Hubs will see the Pretzels in the IHSA 1A Rochelle Sectional, which begins next Friday, May 20.