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 Wednesday, Sept. 17, the 260th day of 2014. There are 105 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: We are told league merchants have paid no attention to the prohibition on selling ammunition, but continue to sell just as before the order was issued.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The Rev. R.F. Sweet, rector of Trinity Episcopal Parish, left for the East to visit his boyhood home in Boston before attending the general convention of the Episcopal Church in New York.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Dr. E.A. Anderson was named to succeed Dr. E.L. Kerns as head physician of the Modern Woodmen of America, and moved to Rock Island from Holdingford, Minn.
1939 -- 75 years ago: One week late, because of the outbreak of war, Dr. E.L. Beyer resumed his work as professor of romance languages at Augustana College. Dr. and Mrs. Beyer left Germany on the last train to the Belgian border.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Employees in Turnstyle stores in Moline and Davenport will vote Oct. 2 in an election set up by the Chicago regional office of the National Labor Relations Board. Employees will vote either for the Retail Clerk International or for no union.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Rock Island High School is considering a step to help teen moms stay in school and get their diploma. The school board is expected to vote tonight on instituting an on-site child care center.




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