In her four seasons at Lemont High School, Jessica Urban ‘10 made three state finals appearances before becoming
a four-time all-conference player at the college level. However, in terms of state finals trips, she no longer has family bragging rights all to herself. Junior Nick Urban and the doubles tandem of senior Joe Ziebell and junior Nathaniel Burner each finished third in their respective flights at the IHSA Joliet West Sectional on May 24. The trio will compete at the 2014 IHSA Boys’ Tennis State Finals, which will be contested from May 29-31 and hosted by High School Districts 211 and 214. Lemont has sent a representative to state finals play nine straight years. Head coach Jon DeGuzman’s team just missed its second straight IHSA Sectional crown, falling short by two points to sectional titlist Joliet Catholic.
Urban (21-1) served as the top seed in singles play. He opened sectional competition with two easy victories, shutting out Bolingbrook’s Jekiri Tueres and Coal City’s Carlos Shoemaler by identical 6-0, 6-0 scores. In the semifinal match, he took the first set from eventual sectional champion Tom Carney of Joliet West before suffering his first loss of the year in three sets (4-6, 6-3, 6-4). He rebounded to take the third-place match from Romeoville’s Miguel Rayos del Sol (6-1, 6-2).
Seeded fifth in the sectional’s doubles competition, Burner and Ziebell won their first two matches to reach the sectional semifinals. They triumphed by a 6-2, 6-1 score in their opener, and upset the third seed by a 6-2, 6-3 score in the next round. In the semifinals, they came up short (7-5. 6-3) against Joliet Catholic’s Dominic Bertino and Nate Naal. However, they outlasted Joliet Catholic’s Ryan Hippman and Dyllan Mattea (7-6 [7-5], 6-3) in the third place match. Burner and Ziebell will make their state finals debuts, and will enter state finals play with an overall record of 18-5.
Urban is the first player in the program’s history to receive a seed at the IHSA State Finals; he was given a #17-32 ranking, which places him among the top 32 players heading into the tournament. He will open against Althoff Catholic’s Austin Mueller, while Burner and Ziebell will square off against Belleville East’s Spencer Smith and Nick Spitze.
Urban finished among the top 32 players in the state as both a freshman and sophomore, posting 3-2 records in state finals competition in both 2012 and 2013.
Urban won the South Suburban Conference-Blue Division’s No. 1 singles flight for the third straight year in 2014, while Burner and Ziebell triumphed at No. 1 doubles. DeGuzman’s team won its straight SSC Blue team title, as senior Faraz Longi won the No. 2 singles flight, and the tandems of junior Juan Diaz-Sanin and Ace Matthews (No. 2 doubles) and seniors Austin Economos and Jeff Mason (No. 3 doubles) each finished in their respective competitions.
The boys’ tennis program is the school’s tenth sport to be represented in IHSA State Finals competition this year. The girls’ bowling squad competed in the IHSA State Finals; the cheerleading squad won the IHSA Medium Division State Championship; the poms/dance team competed in the IHSA Class 2A Competitive Dance State Finals; sophomore Taylor Campos participated in the IHSA Class 2A Girls’ Cross Country State Finals; senior Bridget Lynn competed at the IHSA Class AA Girls’ Golf State Finals; junior Annette Lesnicki advanced to the IHSA Girls’ Swimming State Finals; senior Lisa Gawron took part in the IHSA Girls’ Tennis State Finals; juniors Jacque Desmond (6th, pole vault) and Vika Marmaite (2nd, triple jump) each medaled at the IHSA Class 3A Girls’ Track and Field State Finals; and junior Jimmy Brennan and freshmen Egan Berta and Jake Kirkman each participated in the IHSA Class 2A Wrestling Individual State Finals.