Glencoe, Sports

Doubles pairs help Trevians lock up second at state; Highland Park duo are your state champions

Depth is a recurring theme of New Trier High School team-sport success, and it was hidden in plain sight in the Trevians state tennis performance.

Following a recent injury, senior Oliver Coppieters joined with Daniel Matten on the Trevians second doubles team, a duo that fought its way to a sixth-place state finish on May 27 at Palatine High School.

“He’s really our seventh man,” New Trier coach Tad Eckert said of Coppieters. “That just highlights the depth of our team, and we have other guys fully capable of playing at that level too.”

Coppieters and Matten picked up eight team points, four of which came from the backdraw. The pair’s final backdraw win on May 27 gave New Trier its 30th point to clinch second place behind repeat state champ Hinsdale Central (36 points) and just ahead of Fremd (29) and Barrington (26).

Oliver Coppieters (right) reacts to a point for him and teammate Daniel Matten in the state tournament May 27.

It was the Trevians second straight second-place trophy, the 46th state trophy (top three) in program history and 17th runnerup finish. New Trier has 22 state championships, the most recent of which was earned in 2021.

Eckert said his team had a shot at another state title this year, but the breaks didn’t go the Trevs way.

“I think we all wanted to finish first, so there’s a little disappointment,” he said. “We were slight underdogs coming into the tournament to Hinsdale Central and they played really well. Our guys did too, but we needed a couple breaks and help that we didn’t get. All of the sudden we’re in a dogfight for second and came through.”

Ranked first entering the state tournament, New Trier’s top doubles team, sophomores Chris Ackerman and Stan Okesson won its first five matches (12 team points) to advance to the championship bout.

Ackerman and Okesson picked up a three-set victory in the quarterfinals (6-4, 3-6, 6-2 against Stevenson’s Ervin Perkowski and Gautham Kappaganthula) and a tiebreak win in the semifinals (7-6 [6], 6-3 against Hinsdale Central’s Nathan Hernandez and Bodie Teuscher).

Evan Glebov follows through as teammate Blake Gold looks on in the state-title match.

In the title match, though, Ackerman and Okesson could not keep up with Highland Park’s Evan Glebov and Blake Gold, a tournament’s No. 2 seed.

Glebov and Gold won the match in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2.

“They stayed the course. My phrase to them the whole time was stay the course,” Giants tennis coach John Whitehead said. “Starting out the season, this was a goal of ours. … The scary thing is they won state and they are not even close to their full potenial at doubles.”

Prolific singles players, Glebov and Gold — a junior and sophomore respectively — just joined forces this season and were dominant from the jump en route to a No. 2 seed in the state tournament, Whitehead said.

They lost just one set — to New Trier’s Coppieters and Matten (6-2, 4-6, 6-4) — in their six tournament victories, and they saved their best for last, also winning their semifinal match in straight sets (6-4, 6-2 against Gabe Mills and Shiv Sastry of Barrington).

Highland Park’s Blake Gold celebrates a point in the state championship.

“The third match (against New Trier) made them play better and realize how difficult this could be,” Whitehead said. “They struggled in third match but they persevered in that and it made them stronger when they got to the semis.”

Whitehead isn’t sure if Glebov and Gold will remain a doubles team next season, but he sure wants to have that conversation.

He said they may be favorites to repeat as state champs, and that’s rare.

“I would not want to play them next year if I’m a team out there, especially if they work on their game together,” Whitehead said. “I would love to see them do it.”

Highland Park’s second doubles team of Andrew Arzac and Andrew Rosenfeld picked up three wins in the backdraw.

New Trier singles entries, Caden Liu and Will Feeley, combined to win seven matches. Liu, a junior, lost in the second round before winning twice in the consolation bracket, while Feeley, a senior, won twice to begin his tournament and then twice more in the backdraw.

joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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