McLaughlin looks like a natural in singles


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Posted Online: March 30, 2013, 9:51 pm
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By Chris Steele, chrissteele@qconline.com
In tennis, waiting for the right opportunity can mean everything.

Alleman's Mark McLaughlin is ready to make the most of his chance to be the Pioneers' top singles player.

A doubles player the past two seasons, McLaughlin, a junior, has made a seamless transition to singles, finishing runner-up at the the Rock Island Red Invitational on Saturday.

McLaughlin breezed through his first two matches of the day in commanding fashion.

While McLaughlin always has had a desire to play singles, his experience playing doubles has made him an even more dangerous player.

"In doubles, you use a lot of shots that you normally don't use in singles," McLaughlin said, "There's a lot of rushing the net in doubles, so I've used a lot more of my net game this season."

McLaughlin ran into a buzzsaw in the championship match, falling to Gurnee Warren's Kristiyan Trukov 6-1, 6-1.

Finishing among the top 12 at the IHSA state meet last season, Trukov presented an opportunity for McLaughlin to hone his game.

"Playing tough competition is how you get better," McLaughlin said.

Gurnee Warren (38 points) won the team title, with Alleman finishing fourth (25 points), and Rock Island eighth (11 points) in the eight-team field.

Rock Island's Jinesh Shah finished with a 6-2, 6-4 win for seventh place in No. 1 singles despite feeling some tightness in his calf.

Showing an array of talent last season, Shah is working on letting the game come to him.

"I'm understand when to go for a shot and when to wait for it the more you play," Shah said. "Before, I would go for a shot off every ball hit to me. The more you play, the more you realize you need to wait for that opportunity to go for that winner."

Alleman's Sam Gelski finished with a solid fifth-place effort in No. 2 singles with a 6-4, 6-2 win.

Rock Island freshmen Darien Ramsdale displayed great promise with a fourth-place finish.

"I think my strength is the way I play," Ramsdale said. "People don't think of me as a good player because I'm really short. I think it surprises people that I have a lot of power and speed."

In doubles, Alleman was able to maneuver its lineup, with one of its top doubles players Connor Hogan on spring vacation.The Pioneers' Joe Philibert and Sam Woeber dropped their first match of the day at No .1 doubles, but rebounded to win their next two matches to finish fifth.

"Good serves and serve returns," Woeber said. "Every point begins with one of the two."

"I try to construct points," Philibert said. "I don't let the other team dictate to me, and facing good competition in practice always helps."

Without Hogan, his regular partner, Alleman's Garret Larsen teamed withPeter Stock and the duo finished runner-up in No. 2 doubles.












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  Today is Friday, April 18, the 108th day of 2014. There are 257 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: A new steamer, Keithsburg, now is at our levee taking on board the balance of her fixtures preparatory to assuming her position on the daily Rock Island and Keokuk line.
1889 -- 125 years ago: C.W. Hawes was appointed deputy county clerk by county clerk Donaldson.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Mrs. O.E. child, of Moline, was named president of the Women's Home Missionary Society of the Methodist Church Rock Island District of the Central Illinois conference.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Augustana College is making plans for a drive for funds to erect a field house and make football field improvements.
1964 -- 50 years ago: A expanded election coverage system featuring a 16-foot chalkboard showing up to the minute running totals, attracted a large and enthusiastic crowd to The Argus newsroom last night.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Balloons frame Rock Island attorney Stewart Winstein who was given a surprise party in the rotunda of the Rock Island County Courthouse on Thursday to honor his 50th year of practicing law.




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