Before a cheering crowd of parents, students and fans, the boys’ tennis team powered through the first two rounds of the state tournament at home this weekend with a pair of no-nonsense wins against Cohasset on Friday and Ashland yesterday.
The team is having one of its best seasons ever under head coach Ned Fennessey.
Yesterday on the main court, number one singles player Reid Yennie made quick work of Ashland’s Ivan Bowman, winning 6-2 and 6-0. Meanwhile, in the back court the pairing of Win Grimm and Justice Yennie easily disposed of Ashland’s duo Aaron Kaplan and Mike Filbey, 6-1, 6-2.
Coach Fennessey watched over his players, at times offering advice through the chain-link fence, but for the most part staying quiet.
There has been some exciting post-season play this year in high school spring sports. The boy’ lacrosse team lost a heartbreaker to Scituate on Thursday after giving up a goal in the closing minutes; they are now eliminated from the state tournament.
The girls’ lacrosse team beat number three seed Scituate 21-19 in overtime yesterday, and now moves on to the semi-finals tomorrow against Hopkinton. Game time is 5 p.m. at Hopkinton.
A small crowd gathered yesterday at the tennis courts at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School to watch the Vineyard team.
The boys held a 2-0 advantage with the win at number one singles and doubles, and attention turned to the front court where number two singles player Kent Leonard squared off against Matt Baum. Leonard won the first set easily, 6-1, but found himself locked in a battle in the second set that went to a tiebreaker.
With the team match hanging in the balance, Leonard served for match point on two occasions. On the first, Baum claimed the serve hit the back line, which was disputed by some in the crowd, and on the second he lobbed one past Leonard to get back to deuce. On the next serve, Baum slipped chasing the ball, crashing to the pavement with a thud while losing the point.
There was a long volley after the next serve, and Leonard won the point, set, match and game for his team, with a wicked shot that Baum returned into the net. The crowd applauded and the two players shook hands over the net. With the Vineyarders holding a 3-0 advantage, the remaining matches were academic.
The number two doubles team of Kyle Moran and Grant McCarthy defeated Ashland’s Mike Tejada and Matt Robinson, while number three singles player Justin Smith lost to Jack Erik Halperin in a second set that went to tiebreakers (6-2, 7-6).
“We’ve come together at just the right time, and you have to do that in the state tournament. The level of competition is so much higher,” Coach Fennessey said after the match.
With the win the Vineyard is 17-3 for the season, and 8-0 in the Eastern Athletic Conference. But Mr. Fennessey said records mean nothing when the team faces its next opponent in the tournament: Cape Cod Academy. The academy team beat the Vineyard twice this season and had a 59-game regular-season winning streak.
“We don’t get any type of break. We go and we play one of the best teams out there now. This is a team we know very well, and we know how good they are,” Mr. Fennessey said, adding: “They are the best, and we want the best. We may not win, but we will give it our best.”
The game will be played in Marstons Mills; time and date were not set at press time, although it was believed that the game would be played today.
After yesterday’s win, Coach Fennessey praised his team’s play, especially the three freshman in the starting lineup: Leonard, Smith and Justice Yennie.
“When the season ends, I am going to miss these kids. They have been a great team. But when I do start thinking ahead to next year, things will look pretty bright. We have some young kids with talent who are only going to get better,” he said, adding: “But for right now we are focused on Cape Cod Academy. You have to play them one at a time.”