ROCHELLE — Doubles success has led to team success for the Rochelle Hub varsity tennis team this season. The Hubs remained red hot in doubles Monday afternoon, sweeping all three matches against Streator and helping seal a 3-2 nonconference win over the Bulldogs.
Junior Nolan Fonfara and senior Devansh Patel earned the first victory, cruising over Brad Minick and Alex Gonzalez 6-2, 6-0 at No. 3 doubles. Junior John Green and senior Peter Forsberg then defeated Andrew Vogel and Brenden Christensen 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2 doubles.
“We’ve been really consistent and it’s nice that we have a strong senior class,” Patel said. “We didn’t have any seniors last season and I think that experience has really helped us this year. I think we have a chance to go really far this season and I think winning the conference this season is definitely possible. I know we haven’t won a conference title in a really long time.”
Juniors Owen Haas and David Wanner sealed Rochelle’s doubles sweep, winning 6-1, 6-0 over Cooper Wahl and Quinn Baker on the No. 1 doubles court. The Hubs (7-1, 3-0 Interstate 8) have won five consecutive matches and the team has high expectations for the future.
“We had a tough season last year and we only won five matches, so it feels really good to have a start this strong,” Green said. “Our teamwork has improved a lot and we focus a lot on our communication during practice. We know where the other player is on the court at all times. I think we’re shooting for a conference championship and I think that’s our top goal this year.”
Seniors Jason Zheng and Alex Gilbert took the court in singles, with Zheng falling 1-6, 1-6 against Davey Rashid at No. 1 singles and Gilbert conceding a 3-6, 4-6 loss against Ryan Beck at No. 2 singles. Rochelle will return home to face LaSalle-Peru on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
“We’re off to a much better start than we were last season,” Haas said. “We’ve taken our game to another level and I think we can go really far this season. Our confidence has increased and we have much more experience in the sport. Our individual skills have improved a lot as well. I think we can definitely win the conference if we continue to play how we have this season.”