High Schools: Concord boys’ tennis team beats Keene in pivotal match
Coe-Brown's Gareth Kunz returns the ball in his number three match against Hanover's Jackson Greenspan in the meet between the schools at Coe-Brown on April 26, 2013.
(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
Coe-Brown's Jakon Zylak returns the ball in his number one match against Hanover's Kotaro Huriuchi in the meet between the schools at Coe-Brown on April 26, 2013.
(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)
Mattias Lambert had it under control. The Concord sophomore held a comfortable three-game lead in his singles match, only to let it slip away against Keene’s Cam Jessup. The loss hurt, but it also motivated Lambert as he took the court for doubles.
“I just felt really determined. I wasn’t going to let myself lose two,” Lambert said. “I just had to do it for the team.”
He did. Lambert led the way as he and Adi Gandhi claimed a key win at third doubles to help the Crimson Tide (8-1) to an important 5-4 win over Keene (8-2) yesterday at Memorial Field.
“That was the match right there,” Concord Coach Dave Page said of the third doubles win, an 8-4 decision over Jordan Van Wezel and Noah Wallen. “Mattias really took the lead as far as returning low and charging the net, and I think (Lambert and Gandhi) really complement each other.”
Like Lambert, Gandhi lost at singles, dropping a one-sided 8-2 decision to Wallen. Gandhi is normally No. 8 on the Tide ladder, two spots out of the varsity rotation, but Concord was missing two players and Gandhi had to step up.
“Adi is a kid that has never had significant varsity minutes, and all of a sudden he had to come in to an important match like this,” Page said. “He really showed good mental toughness after losing in singles by a wide margin.”
The win from Lambert and Gandhi gave Concord a 4-3 team edge. About 10 minutes after they were done, Concord’s top team of Greg Cistulli and Justin Toler sealed the victory with an 8-2 win at first doubles. It was the second win of the day for both Cistulli and Toler as they both led and dominated from the top of the ladder.
Cistulli rolled to an 8-2 win over Dan Idelkope at No. 1. The result wasn’t much of a surprise, given Cistulli’s status as one of the top players in the state, and because Keene was missing its No. 1 player, Riley Hay, who was on a college trip.
“I just played my game,” Cistulli said. “My serve was on and I was able to outhit him and just stay in the points longer.”
Keene’s Matt Gray gave Toler a bit of trouble early in their match at No. 2, but the Concord freshman kept his composure, found a rhythm and worked an 8-3 win.
“I had my serve going, it was on,” Toler said. “(Gray) hit it pretty hard, but he wasn’t very consistent.”
Concord’s other singles point came at No. 4 as Josh Pifer came from behind against Van Wezel. Pifer was down 0-3 and 1-4 before storming back for an 8-5 decision.
“I’m usually a slow starter, but I’m not usually that slow,” Pifer said. “I started figuring out his serve and instead of trying to hit a heavy topspin, I just started slicing it back and getting the point started. After that, I got hot and started ripping forehands and working him side to side.”
Keene got singles wins from No. 3 Will Silverstein (8-5 over Evan Hewey), No. 5 Jessup (8-6 in the comeback over Lambert), and Wallen with his 8-2 decision over Gandhi. Silverstein and Jessup also got a point at second doubles with an 8-4 win over Pifer and Hewey.
The match will likely affect tournament seeding as both teams are near the top of the Division I standings. Keene does have a match left against 6-0 Timberlane, but the Owls don’t have to play Bedford, the clear-cut top team in D-I, and the only team to beat Concord. So giving Keene a second loss and avoiding a second defeat of its own was huge for the Tide.
Not only did the match have probable playoff implications, it had a playoff atmosphere with tension and tight calls on most of the courts.
“I think the match today had a postseason kind of feel,” Page said. “And I think it will give our kids the confidence they can continue to play with the top teams.”
Hanover 9, Coe-Brown 0
The Bears (3-4) had no luck slowing down a Marauders team that upped its perfect record to 6-0.
Shannon and Bianca Ketenci, in their first match as doubles partners, kept it close before dropping an 8-5 decision at No. 2.
Nashua North 4,
The Crimson Tide rallied to tie the game in the top of the seventh, but couldn’t prevent its first loss of the season in the bottom half when the Titans (6-3) brought in the winning run following a rundown with two outs.
Concord (6-1) trailed entering the seventh but tied the game when Jon Dunn led off with a walk, Ben Bengtson drew a walk with one out and Alex Bashios was hit by a pitch to load the bases. After a strikeout, Braden Smith was also hit, forcing Dunn in from third and knotting the game at 3.
Bashios finished up 2-for-3 with an RBI, while Smith brought in two runs and Dunn scored twice.
John Clary got the start for the Tide, allowing two runs and three hits in two innings. Ryan Place relieved and allowed three hits and two walks while striking out three over the next four innings, and Seimou Smith came on to pitch the seventh.
John Stark 2
The Generals (1-3) spotted a four-run lead to Con-Val (4-2, winners of three straight) in the first inning and weren’t able to generate enough offense to come back against a Cougars team that has allowed three runs or less in all but one of their games this year.
After a tough first inning, starting pitcher Paul Montray settled down nicely and went the distance, giving up a walk and striking out three.
David Nelson (2-for-3, two RBI) and Nick Manna (hit, stolen base, run scored) helped to supply the two John Stark runs in the fourth inning. Shortstop Manna also made a nice play deep in the hole during the seventh to save a run and keep the score at 5-2.
Kingswood 4, Pembroke 1
Pembroke (4-2) and Kingswood (2-3) were scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning, when the Knights were able to get on the board against starting pitcher Shane St. Onge, who went 51∕3 innings of three-run ball on two hits with six strikeouts.
The Spartans managed to pull a run back in the top of the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Michael Martinez that scored Brandon Bachelder, but couldn’t cut down on the deficit any further.
Raymond 9, Bow 2
The Falcons (3-1) dropped their first game of the season in a road game with Raymond (3-3). The home team scored seven runs in the fourth inning to build an insurmountable 9-1 lead. Bow had three errors, gave up too many walks and wasn’t able to get timely hits in its first game in a week.
Senior Hunter Berke (2-for-3) and freshman Evan Vulgamore (1-for-3, RBI) were able to get some offense going for the Falcons.
Kennett 3, Coe-Brown 2
The Bears (3-3) had a 2-0 lead in the first and a 2-1 lead going into the bottom of the sixth, but three errors over the final two innings gave the Eagles (3-3) the chances they needed to steal the win.
McCormick Struthers and Brennan Riley had RBI doubles for Coe-Brown. Riley went the first four innings, and was relieved by Joe Anatone, who pitched a perfect fifth, and Andrew Lang, who got the loss despite allowing no earned runs and just one hit over the final two innings.
Con-Val 4, John Stark 3
The Generals (2-3) had an unbeaten Cougars team on the ropes with a 3-1 lead in the seventh, but Con-Val (6-0) scored three times in the inning to escape with the win.
Jackie Kilar hit a two-run home run, bringing in Maddie Jenelle, while Sam Kazakis (2-for-4) also had a good day at the plate. Lyndsey Turner and Shelby Broulette combined for eight strikeouts in the circle.
Pembroke (3-3) evened its record at .500 with a strong win at winless Kingswood (0-5). The Spartans pitched well and generated offense across their lineup.
Starter Ashley Henshaw and Hannah Seidner combined to keep the Knights’ bats quiet. Henshaw picked up the win after four innings, giving up three hits and no runs while striking out four, while Seidner came into the game and finished the last three innings, striking out three batters and giving up an earned run on three hits.
Pembroke got on the board in the first inning after Katherine Arvanitis led off with a single and Seidner drove her in, then added three runs in the second following a leadoff double by Amanda Clement and hits by Kara Dugas, Hannah Mitchell and Arvanitis. The Spartans widened their lead further in a five-run sixth inning with key hits coming from Madison Pellerin (double) and Sarah Swanson (RBI single).
The Cougars (4-2) came out on top in an evenly-matched battle that was well-played on the defensive end for both teams. Kearsarge took an early 2-0 lead and was ahead 4-2 at halftime, but three quick goals in a short span by the host Spartans (1-4) jumpstarted the home team in the third quarter to take a 6-5 lead going into the fourth. Kearsarge survived a pivotal penalty kill down two men during the final period and went on to score twice in the fourth for the narrow win.
Travis Newman had two goals and two assists to lead the Kearsarge offense, and Robbie Lutz added a goal. Goalie Will AuFranc was stellar in net with 15 saves and benefitted from tight defense by Ben Gambino, Keatton Hanson and Bryson Barthol, who played well in place of missing senior captain Jordan Barthol. Midfielder Matt Pickman played an important part in a key penalty kill in the fourth quarter with Kearsarge down two men.
Pembroke was led by Colby Chown, who scored a hat trick, while Ian McFarland (goal) and Joe Boisvert (assist) added offense.
Grace Orzechowski scored twice for the Crimson Tide, which fell to 2-5.
Veryonica Daniels and Hannah Bouchard had the other Tide goals, while Bella Rubin played well on defense and Mary Annon was solid at midfield.
The Bears (3-3) fell on the road to Windham (5-2) in straight sets, 25-13, 25-18, 25-20. Seniors Beau Pingree (five kills, four digs), Mike LeDuc (five digs, five assists) and Evan Horvath (three kills, three blocks) performed well for Coe-Brown.
John Stark 3, Keene 2
The Generals (4-1) beat out Keene (1-4) in a hard-fought match over five games, 25-20, 25-13, 23-25, 23-25, 15-5.
Ryan Compagna (22 hits, 14 kills, five aces) and Brandon Dugay (12 hits, eight kills, block) led John Stark, while Simon Becka (21 assists, three aces, kill), Derek Clark (perfect service game with no errors, 10 assists), Carson Dunn (eight hits, five kills, two blocks), freshman Cody Lemay (four blocks, kill) and Jordan Sterling (two blocks, kill) also played well.