Phoenix Tennis Matchup vs Kents Hill

Hyde School            1

Kents Hill School    4

Hyde’s Varsity Tennis team traveled to Kents Hill School on Saturday, May 7 for a much anticipated rematch of our match from late April. Happily the rain held off, and the match was played on Kents Hill’s fine outdoor courts.

First Singles (loss)

Connor Gray          1            6            (7

                Cormac Kenny      6            3            10)

Second Singles (win)

                Michael Siben          6              4      (10

Sam Onion                3              6          7)

Third Singles (loss)

Lucas McCabe      1             4

                Zeyan Zhang        6             6

First Doubles (loss)

                Henry Tao & Tony Fu                              4         2

                Owen MacDonald & Sebastian Hogye   6         6

Second Doubles (loss)

Shawn Shao & Mark Chen                0            0

                Jaxon Friedman & Drew Eid           6            7

Highlights;

Both teams featured significantly different lineups compared to our first match. Connor Gray ’17 returned to face a different #1 than Kents Hill sent out in our previous match. Connor showed some rust after a lengthy layoff. He made uncharacteristic errors in the first set, but bore down in the second set and controlled the play from the first game. Because the overall match had already been decided, a tie-breaker was played in lieu of a full third set. After falling behind early, Connor was able to match his opponent point for point down the stretch, but this was not enough to overcome his early deficit. I know Connor would like another crack at this kid, and I hope he will get it at MAISADs. Also returning to action was Michael Siben ’17. Like Connor, Michael has a beautiful game, but is out of practice. At times going for more than he ought to, Michael was still able to find enough firepower, and enough consistency to defeat the Huskie who had previously prevailed at #1 against us. Filling in at #3 for the suddenly ailing John Westmoreland ’17 was Lucas McCabe ’18 who played 1 in our last tilt against the Huskies. Lucas is a classic grinder, capable of returning laser beam groundstrokes with deep chips, and making his opponent play “just one more ball.” After a tough first set, Lucas made some excellent adjustments, and was able to move his opponent around much more effectively inciting errors, and other mistakes that put him in a very competitive position to win the second set. Alas, it was not to be, but I am proud of Lucas – as I am of all of our players – for the focus and intensity he brought to his match.

Henry Tao ’18 teamed with youngster Tony Fu ’19 to face Kents Hills hard-serving #1 doubles team. After jumping out to a 3-2 lead, the first of our two Chinese tandems let a few games get away them. Credit to the Huskies for elevating their game — and a lesson for the Phoenix that every force from one’s opponent deserves an equal force in the opposite direction! Once the Huskies found their stride, they started to seem unstoppable. A few adjustments might have resulted in a more competitive second set, but alas, these were not to be found. Shawn Shao ’16 and Mark Chen ’18 teamed up at #2 to face a dynamic duo of hard-hitting Husky Sophomores, one of whom played #2 singles in our previous encounter. Chalk this one up to a tough match-up, although Mark confessed after the first set that he was struggling to keep his usually deadly backhand and penetrating serves in the court – which will always make it difficult to compete.

Next Wednesday, May 11, Hebron will come down to visit us for a rematch. I expect the team to work hard to avoid another disappointment like we experienced at Kents Hill. With another key member of our team expected to return, I expect we will give the Lumberjacks all they can handle.

Coach Weymar