The boys’ varsity tennis team suffered its first defeat of the season against a tough Barnstable squad Monday afternoon. The Vineyarders had not lost a match since June of 2011, and last year capped a perfect season with a state championship win.
Head coach Ned Fennessy said at the beginning of this season that he scheduled Division 1 teams such as Barnstable to better prepare the Division 3 Vineyarders for postseason play, and Monday’s matches lived up to that expectation. The Barnstable Red Raiders had just one loss on the season — to the Vineyarders, in an early season match — and sought to avenge that defeat on their home turf Monday.
Barnstable took an early 2-0 lead with sweeps of both doubles matches, but senior co-captain Kent Leonard brought the match within reach for the Vineyard with a 6-4, 6-1 defeat of Tyler Shibler at second singles.
Senior co-captain Justice Yennie’s personal win streak also ended Monday during his third singles match against Max Francis. Yennie was undefeated through two and a half seasons, with a total of 54 match wins in a row. Francis took the lead in the first set after a 6-4 win, and although Yennie rebounded in the second set to force the tiebreaking round, his opponent ultimately edged him out with a 6-3 set.
The number one singles match was a battle from the start, stretching more than three hours as senior Natty Schneider faced Barnstable’s Sonny Bisazza. Schneider dropped the first set 6-2, but fought back for a 7-5 victory in the second. As the other matches concluded, the Schneider/Bisazza duel continued, and a 10 point “super tiebreaker,” in Coach Fennessy’s words, began, with Bisazza prevailing 10-8.
The team is now 9-1, and looks to secure a spot in the postseason tournament in a home match today against Eastern Athletic Conference rival Bishop Stang.
In other sports news, boys’ lacrosse picked up its third straight win with a 19-7 victory against Nantucket on Saturday. Senior Nick Costello scored five goals and had three assists, and senior Thomas Wilkins had four goals. Freshman Emily Turney hit a grand slam for the softball team in the Vineyarders’ 20-2 victory against Cambridge Rindge and Latin Saturday. Track and field senior Shavanae Anderson set a new school record in the triple jump during the annual Twilight Meet in New Bedford on Saturday.