Win for Phoenix Tennis vs Hebron 4-1

Hyde School          4

Hebron Academy    1

Hebron Academy visited the Joseph Gauld Athletic Center on Wednesday, May 11 for a much anticipated rematch of Hyde’s April loss.

First Singles (win)

Connor Gray        6              6

Masa Mita             1              4

Second Singles (win)

Michael Siben                           6            6

Madhurane Muthukuaraswany   1            2

Third Singles (win)

John Westmoreland      6            6

Max Peng                         3            4

First Doubles (win)

Henry Tao & Tony Fu                            6         2      (7-

Tadeo Nusser Itarte & Vedant Divekar    2         6       4)

Second Doubles (loss)

Lucas McCabe & Shawn Shao    6  (6-          4

Haohan Tang & Shawn Cui       7  (8-          6

Highlights;

Although our previous match against Hebron was closely contested, Connor Gray ’17 was Hyde’s only victor. Once again, Connor was able to prevail against his younger opponent, who struck the ball nicely but was too generous with the errors. Connor’s steady play has earned a him a place among the top competitors in the MAISADs. In his second match back at #2, Michael Siben ’17 came out with a blazing serve, a penetrating topsin backhand, and slippery lice forehand, easily dispatching his foe. This was a strong showing for Michael, who has regained some of the polish he’d lost during his hiatus from competition. In addition to the quality of his performance, Michael was also an excellent sport, readily congratulating his opponent when he hit a winner, and generally carrying himself graciously on the court. John Westmoreland ’17 played one of his better matches at #3. In fact, John felt that Hebron’s #3 was at least as good as their #2, who beat John previously, but John felt he was playing much better tennis this time, especially from the backhand side. This was a very encouraging victory for John.

Henry Tao ’18 teamed with youngster Tony Fu ’19 at #1 doubles, and came out strong, cruising to easy first set victory. The second set was another story, however! Hebron’s top duo rose to the challenge, smacking some hard serves and forehands right by Henry and Tony. Before they knew what had happened, Hebron had drawn even with a decisive second set win. Since the overall match had already been decided, the two teams conferred with their coaches before going out to play a tie-breaker in lieu of a full third set. For whatever reason, Henry and Tony seemed more relaxed than their adversaries, and jumped out to a small lead in the beginning of the tie-breaker. They built on this, and literally before the Hebron boys knew what had happened — they thought 12 points were required to win the match — Henry and Tony had won. Shawn Shao ’16 and Lucas McCabe ’18 faced off against Hebron’s #2 doubles team. What a match! Shawn and Lucas had not competed together previously so it took some time for them to develop a rapport on the court. As the games went by, each team had its moments with many excellent exchanges going back and forth. At 6-all, the boys began what was to become an epic tie-breaker. After several long exchanges, Shawn and Lucas found themselves with a match point, at 6-5. Unfortunately, the pair from Hebron rose to the occasion and saved that point, earned a chance at the set themselves, and managed to capitalize on that. Down a set, Lucas, in particular, became discouraged, and his play suffered, as a result. The match remained close, but we were not able to reach the same heights we had in the first set. Shawn articulated the lesson very well: You cannot control the outcome of the last point, only the next point! Only focus on that.

This was an encouraging turn-around after our earlier defeat at Hebron. These were two well-matched teams competing at a high level late in the season. Great stuff! It will be a pleasure to compete against these young men again at MAISADs next week. In the meantime, we will face Fryeburg Academy tomorrow, Saturday, May 13th in a rematch of our earlier 5-0 victory.

Coach Weymar