Tennis tournaments: Concord eliminates Dover, 7-2, to reach D-I semifinals

  • Concord’s Nate Levine (right) shakes hands with Dover’s Nick Marchuk after Levine’s match-clinching, 9-7 win at No. 5 singles Wednesday at Woodman Park in Dover. The fifth-seeded Crimson Tide beat No. 4 Dover, 7-2, to advance to Thursday’s Division I boys’ tennis semifinal against top-ranked Pinkerton Academy. TIM O’SULLIVAN / Monitor staff

  • Concord’s Nate Levine prepares to hit an overhead on match point Wednesday at Woodman Park in Dover. Levine’s overhead was a winner, giving him a 9-7 win at No. 5 singles and clinching the No. 5 Crimson Tide’s Division I boys’ tennis quarterfinal win against No. 4 Dover. TIM O’SULLIVAN / Monitor staff

  • Concord’s Anders Norton hits a serve Wednesday at Woodman Park in Dover. Norton claimed an 8-3 win at No. 4 singles as the No. 5 Crimson Tide beat No. 4 Dover, 7-2, in the Division I boys’ tennis quarterfinals. TIM O’SULLIVAN / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 5/24/2018 12:35:16 AM

DOVER – The first three singles matches finished quickly, but the last three hung on the courts, the outcome balanced between them.

There were long points, loud crowds and playoff pressure as No. 5 Concord and No. 4 Dover battled over those final three singles points in Wednesday’s Division I boys’ tennis quarterfinal. Things could have gone either way, but the Crimson Tide (12-3) dug deep and dug out the key points to take all three of those tight singles matches on its way to a 7-2 win and a spot in Thursday’s semifinal against top-ranked and undefeated Pinkerton (16-0).

“All year long I’ve been getting on these kids that they’ve got to fight, that it’s not enough to just have talent, that you’ve got to have that mental toughness,” Concord coach Dave Page said. “And I think today, mentally, was our best effort of the year, and it had to be.”

It had to be because the Green Wave (12-3) was showing plenty of its own grit, fighting for points and yelling encouragement to each other across the courts. The loud atmosphere continued outside the courts, where players and fans from both teams were vocal.

“I love playing kids that like to get rowdy,” said Ethan Crandlemire, Concord’s No. 2. “Love it.”

Emotions ran highest on the No. 3 court, where Dover’s Dominic Frank and Tide sophomore Liam Grennon were vocal from start to finish. Things also got a little contentious, and Frank asked the coaches to come on to the court and oversee the line calls. The Dover senior had a 7-6 lead, but Grennon came back to take the final three games for a 9-7 win.

“Liam kept his head better than he sometimes has,” Page said. “I think he dealt well with the atmosphere of the coaches being on the court to call the lines. It seemed to settle him if anything, even though it was requested by (Frank).”

There were no verbal fireworks in the No. 6 match, but it was still a competitive grind. Concord’s Winsor Bean turned a 2-2 tie into a 6-2 lead with a good mix of consistency and aggression. Not only was Dover’s Zac Nelson-Marois facing that four-game deficit, he also got leg cramps when he was trailing by four games. But Nelson-Marois fought, winning three straight games before Bean held at love for an 8-5 win.

“The guys gave everything they had, and that’s all I wanted to see,” Dover coach Brain Beck said. “It’s a fickle sport, and sometimes things just don’t go your way.”

The wins from Grennon and Bean gave the Tide a 4-1 lead with the last singles match still on the court. Concord’s Nate Levine held a 7-5 lead at No. 5, but Nick Marchuk came back to tie things at 7-7. The last two games both went to deuce, but as was the case all day, the player wearing Crimson found the finishing points.

“(Levine) had to play patient and then attack at the right times and use his net game, which is where he’s best,” Page said.

Concord sophomore Anders Norton used a similar mix of steady ground strokes and smart net play to work an 8-3 win at No. 4. Norton trailed John Nash, 3-2, before reeling off six straight games. By the end, Norton was in complete control and lost just three points in the final three games.

Crandlemire pulled off a similar run in his 8-3 win at No. 2. Dover’s Max Casey plays a similar game as Crandlemire – steady and safe from the baseline – and was giving the Tide sophomore trouble to start the match, but things turned when Crandlemire broke to take a 4-3 lead.

“He went up 40-love and I came back and was able to win that game and go up 4-3, and I think that was big momentum turner,” Crandlemire said. “I gained a lot of confidence there, I figured out how to play my match and I didn’t drop a game after that.”

Dover’s singles win came at No. 1, where Nick Schlapak beat Kevin Neary, 8-2. Neary came back and teamed with Norton for an 8-5 win at first doubles over Schlapak and Frank. Dover’s Casey and Nash won, 9-7, at second doubles while Crandlemire and Jon Shamash combined for an 8-2 win at third doubles.

While this was Dover’s first playoff appearance since 2005, Concord will be making its eighth straight semifinal appearance when it meets Pinkerton on Saturday. That streak seemed in jeopardy after the Tide graduated its top four from last year’s team, but the returning players believed.

“We knew we were young, and Kevin and I were the only two returning starters, but I also knew we had a lot of kids that were capable of a lot,” Crandlemire said. “I think we accomplished what we wanted to today, but we’re not done yet.”

(Tim O’Sullivan can be reached at 369-3341, tosullivan@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @timosullivan20.)

BOYS’ TENNIS

Division III quarterfinals

No. 1 Gilford 8, No. 8 Sanborn 1

Key players: Gilford – Christian Workman, Tyler Hanf, Mikey Eisenmann, Colton Workman, Adam Donnelly, Brendan Bergman

Highlights/key moments: The Golden Eagles are no strangers to the postseason and looked right at home in the quarterfinals. Gilford swept its way through singles and received wins at doubles from Christian Workman and Tyler Hanf at No. 1, and Mikey Eisenmann and Colton Workman at No. 2. Gilford hosts No. 5 Littleton on Thursday.

Records: Gilford 14-1; Sanborn 7-8

No. 2 Bow 7, No. 7 Inter-Lakes 2

Key players: Bow – Caleb Olson (8-2 win at No. 2 singles, 8-2 win No. 1 doubles), Zach Mullen (8-5 win No. 3 singles, 8-1 win No. 2 doubles), Dillan D’Allesandro (8-2 win No. 4 singles, 8-2 win No. 1 doubles), Jon Cook (8-4 win No. 5 singles), Brayden Binder (8-1 win No. 2 doubles), Neeraj Naik and Daniel Silva (8-6 win No. 3 doubles); Inter-Lakes – Nate Sullivan (8-3 win No. 1 singles), Simon Bird (8-6 win No. 6 singles)

Highlights/key moments: After going 4-2 in singles play, the Falcons swept doubles action on their home courts. Bow will host No. 3 Conant in the semifinals on Thursday at 4 p.m.

Records: Bow 13-2; Inter-Lakes 8-7

GIRLS’ TENNIS

Division III quarterfinals

No. 1 Bow 9, No. 8 Prospect Mountain 0

Key players: Bow – Gwen Molind (8-0 singles win, 8-4 doubles win), Lara Chern (8-4 singles win, 8-4 doubles win), Olivia Parzick (8-2 singles win, 8-5 doubles win), Emma Conley (8-0 singles win, 8-5 doubles win), Miah Munro (8-3 singles win, 8-4 doubles win), Lauren Goyette (8-0 singles win, 8-4 doubles win)

Highlights/key moments: The Falcons swept their way to the semifinals, where they will host the winner of the No. 4 Littleton vs. No. 5 Moultonborugh match on Friday at 4 p.m.

Coach’s quote: “The girls played well today. We saw some nice things happen in our singles play, and although we won our doubles matches, we have some things to figure out and tweak a bit before Friday.” – Bow’s Jonsey Rainville

Records: Bow 15-0; Prospect Mountain 8-7

No. 6 Pelham 5, No. 3 Inter-Lakes 4

Key players: Inter-Lakes – Ella St. Cyr (8-2 win at No. 4 singles), Phoebe Hoag (9-8 win at No. 5 singles), Belle Hoag (8-5 win at No. 6 singles)

Highlights/key moments: The Lakers lost the top three singles matches, and the top of the Pelham ladder proved too tough in doubles, as well. The Pythons won the No. 1 and No. 2 doubles contests while St. Cyr and Belle Hoag combined for an 8-5 win at third doubles. St. Cyr finished her season with a 13-0 singles record while Alyssa Floyd, Inter-Lakes’ No. 1, finished 14-1, her only loss coming on Wednesday against Pelham’s Amira Eid, 8-6.

Records: I-L 11-4; Pelham 11-4




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