Boys Tennis: Loyola’s Arocho a success in top spot
Loyola's Anthony Arocho at the Catholic League boys tennis championships in Wilmette on Friday, May 11, 2012 in Wilmette. | Joel Lerner~Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 3, 2012 11:57AM
In his first season at No. 1 singles, Loyola’s Anthony Arocho made a good impression on Ramblers coach Tom Fitzgerald.
Not only did the sophomore handle being in the top spot with the maturity of a veteran, Arocho showed he can play at that level as well.
Arocho ended his season by going 4-2 in his first trip to the state tournament. He beat Auburn’s Brandon Metzler 7-5, 6-0 in the backdraw after losing to the junior at Latin’s tournament during the regular season.
“Great win,” Fitzgerald said. “That was his biggest win, and that was something we were waiting for him to do, to beat a top player. He finally tasted that.”
Arocho, who finished 20-10, was happy with how he measured up.
“In the beginning of the year, I was a little bit nervous,” the Norridge resident said. “I didn’t know what to expect. But it was a good year, and I beat some pretty good players.”
The team’s No. 2 singles player last season, behind 2011 graduate Lawson Barter, Arocho helped Loyola add another conference championship to its books by capturing the title at No. 1 singles this season.
“My freshman year really helped me prepare for this year,” Arocho said. “I had a lot of good people to look up to and give me guidance. I learned a lot from it, and it put me in the right mind-set for this year.”
Arocho has a busy summer ahead of him. In addition to training at the Glenbrook Racquet Club, he plans to play in several tournaments, including the Midwest Closed, one of the top events in the region.
Arocho wants to get better with his first serve and become more aggressive, especially at the net. He believes that he spent too much time on the baseline this spring.
“He needs to start taking a few more chances,” Fitzgerald said. “He needs to get better with his serve and volley. He’s a sharp kid, so he will do it.”