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, Sept. 19, the 262nd day of 2014. There are 103 days left in the year.
1864 -- 150 years ago: Charles M. Osborn of this city, a lawyer of prominence, who voted for Lincoln in 1860 is now out strong for McClellan and will take the stump for him.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The George Fleming company had begun its dried fruit packing in a branch plant on 16th Street, Rock Island, employing nearly a hundred workers.
1914 -- 100 years ago: The cornerstone of the new Eagles home was laid. Building committee members were John Kobeman, Fred Ehmke and Frank Wich.
1939 -- 75 years ago: Former Kaiser Wilhelm, in exile, is sad as the Nazis march with communists.
1964 -- 50 years ago: Ninety-two members of the acappella choir at Davenport's West High School today accepted an invitation to perform at the New York World's Fair on June 13, 1965.
1989 -- 25 years ago: A Rock Island woman is one of 50 winners of $10,000 in cash in the Illinois State Lottery's "Celebration "89" instant ticket game. Dawn Loeffler was the third winner to be chosen through daily drawings that began Aug. 28 and will run 50 consecutive days.






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