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Short-handed Homestead netters still moving along without 2010 singles champ Jesse

Win Memorial Invite on Saturday

April 24, 2012

Mequon - With 2010 state singles champion Alex Jesse still not at full strength as he recovers from an arm condition that has bothered him since January, the defending state runner-up Homestead boys tennis team is adapting with a young singles lineup and experience in key spots.

"He's working his way back," veteran coach Jackie Egelhoff said. "No one's quite sure how it really started. He's building himself up and hopefully by the time we need him to be full strength he will be at full strength."

Jesse lost in the state singles final last season to Marquette's Damon Niquet.

Despite his absence, the Highlanders remain impressive having won the Madison Memorial Spartan Invitational last weekend and beating North Shore archrival Nicolet, 6-1, on April 17. Jesse did play in the Nicolet match and in some matches at the Memorial Invite

In Jesse's absence, sophomore Danny Coran is filling in ably at first singles. He was an individual state qualifier himself last spring. Other singles spots include sophomore letter-winner Will Kammerait at two, freshman Chase Gabriel at three and sophomore Aaron Rempel at four. All these positions shift down one when Jesse is in the lineup.

State tournament veteran, senior Nikhil Ramnarayan teams with junior Peter Apfelbach at first doubles while at two, senior Andrew Weitzer and junior Adam Bodner (four singles last year) joins forces while newcomer senior Daniel Silber and sophomore Daniel Kleytman man the third doubles slot.

"It's a good group of kids, and they are working hard," Egelhoff said, "and Alex is still very much a leader on and off the court. He can't hit everyday, but he comes in and helps where he can."

In the Memorial Invite, the Highlanders got good wins over Kenosha Tremper (5-2), Memorial (6-1), Madison Edgewood (7-0) and Green Bay Preble (7-0).

Earlier in the season, the Highlanders dropped a 6-1 decision to five-time state champion Marquette, but Egelhoff noted that was with two three-set defeats.

"Everyone is getting good experience and that is helping," said Egelhoff.

Homestead will be at the Neenah Invitational on Saturday.

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