Zazove and O'Brien Claim Conference Titles in Singles

Zazove and O'Brien Claim Conference Titles in Singles

Sophomore Nick Zazove and freshman Brett O'Brien captured championships at #1 and #2 singles, respectively, on Saturday at the Midwest Conference Individual Tournaments in Madison, Wisconsin.

Zazove solidified his status as the league's top player with straight set victories over his counterparts from Ripon College and Grinnell College to advance to the championship match and the best from Cornell College in the final. He took the opening set in the championship 6-2 before falling by the same score in the second. It was the first set he dropped to a conference opponent this season. He responded with another 6-2 victory in the decisive third set to clinch his second career conference title. Zazove was the #3 singles champion a year ago and is now 20-1 in his career against opponents within the league. Saturday's win was his 14th consecutive singles triumph, the third-longest streak in program history, and just five shy of the school record.

O'Brien's route to the title was similar to Zazove's. He cruised to a 6-1, 6-0 victory against the #2 player from St. Norbert College in the quarterfinals and prevailed 7-6, 6-0 over his opponents from Grinnell to reach the final, which was another match-up between Lake Forest and Cornell. After dropping an opening set tiebreaker to the bracket's top seed, O'Brien took the second and third sets by the same 6-4 score to claim the title.

It was just the second time in program history that Forester players won league titles at the top two spots in the lineup.

Lake Forest juniors Scott Drier and Joe Bove advanced to the semifinals at #4 and #5, respectively. Drier was denied a spot in the final by the eventual champion and Bove was defeated by his bracket's runner-up.

Junior Matt Kacyn was defeated in the opening round at #3 and posted one victory before falling in the consolation final. Freshman Brant Christensen followed an identical route at #6.

Five of the six Foresters in Saturday's singles tournaments will also compete in doubles on Sunday. Lake Forest is the #2 seed at all three positions in the lineup with Zazove and Kacyn competing at #1, O'Brien and Drier at #2, and Christensen with freshman Louis Payne at #3. Play will begin at 8:00 a.m.