Boys tennis season recap

Due to the ongoing construction of the OPRF tennis courts, the boys tennis team has spent their entire season on the road. Despite this, they have had a successful season, and are looking to continue their success into the state tournament.

“Not having a home court has been very difficult,” says senior Luca Lissuzzo. “We usually practice at local parks, but we are often cramped for court space. It’s definitely a competitive disadvantage because we are traveling every match and playing without as many fans to support us. It’s been pretty tough to walk by the courts and see cars parked on them instead of people playing tennis.”

This year, the team only has three seniors on varsity. “The guys on the team definitely look up to me and the other seniors as role models,” says Lissuzzo. “We have a pretty young team, so it’s been important to keep the team motivated and set a good example on and off the court.”

Despite an early season loss to conference rival Glenbard West, the team was able to bounce back and string together solid wins against other conference teams.

One of those wins was against fellow rival Lyons Township when OPRF beat them 5-2, their first win over the Lions in almost a decade.

Lissuzzo, who is the no. 1 singles player on the team, won his match 7-5,7-6.

“Tennis is definitely a mental sport, and to zone out what you can’t control is key to playing your best tennis,” says Lissuzzo. “When I know I’m going to play a strong player, I focus on getting the ball back deep in the court and reducing unforced errors.”

Junior Trevor Wilson, who plays doubles with fellow junior Gabe Wolter, also feels that his best match came against LT.

“Every match is a learning opportunity for both of us as individuals and as a team, so I have appreciated having the opportunity to play with the same partner for the majority of the season,” says Wilson.

“My goal for the remainder of the season is to build confidence in hitting flat and slice serves,” says Wilson. “Serving can change the pace of any given game, and altering the rhythm of my opponents will cause them to make unforced errors.”

During the middle of the season, the team also collected wins against York, Proviso West, Downers Grove North, Downers Grove South, and Riverside Brookfield.

Sectionals were held on May 20 and 21 in Park Ridge, and state will be held a week later in Arlington Heights. Leyden, York, and Morton are the three conference teams in OPRF’s sectional draw.

“We’ve got to focus in with sectionals and state coming up,” says Lissuzzo. “I think the team has done really well to prepare for the end of this season.”