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High Schools: Boys’ tennis quarterfinal wins for Pembroke Academy and Kearsarge

  • Bow’s No. 2 Hunter Duncan follows through on a forehand during his singles match against Lebanon’s Nolan Arado in a Division II boys’ tennis quarterfinal on Tuesday in Bow. Lebanon won, 8-1. Pembroke Academy and Kearsarge won their boys’ tennis quarterfinal matches on Tuesday, while Bishop Brady, Concord and Bow lost.  GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • ABOVE: Bow’s No. 1 Dominik Jurcins returns a backhand during his singles match against Lebanon’s Mason Arado in a Division II boys’ tennis quarterfinal on Tuesday in Bow. Arado beat Jurcins, 8-2, and Lebanon won, 8-1. Pembroke Academy and Kearsarge won their boys’ tennis quarterfinal matches on Tuesday, while Bishop Brady, Concord and Bow lost. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

  • Bow’s No. 1 Dominik Jurcins returns a forehand during his singles match against Lebanon’s Mason Arado on Tuesday in Bow. Arado beat Jurcins, 8-2, and Lebanon won, 8-1. Pembroke Academy and Kearsarge won their boys’ tennis quarterfinal matches on Tuesday, while Bishop Brady, Concord and Bow lost. GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff

  • Bow’s No. 2 Hunter Duncan follows through on a forehand during his singles match against Lebanon’s Nolan Arado in a Division II boys’ tennis quarterfinal on Tuesday in Bow. Lebanon won, 8-1. Pembroke Academy and Kearsarge won their boys’ tennis quarterfinal matches on Tuesday, while Bishop Brady, Concord and Bow lost.  GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 6/2/2021 5:15:15 PM

Five local schools sent their boys’ tennis teams into divisional quarterfinals on Tuesday, and two of them – Pembroke Academy and Kearsarge – will be playing in Thursday’s semifinals.

PA (9-3) claimed a 6-3 win at Windham and will now travel to face undefeated defending champ Portsmouth in the Division II semifinals. Kearsarge downed Plymouth, 8-1, on their home courts and will now host Profile in the D-III semifinals.

Things didn’t go so well for Bishop Brady, Bow and Concord. Trinity beat Brady, 8-1, and will now face Gilford in Thursday’s other D-III semifinal. Lebanon beat Bow, 8-1, and will meet Souhegan in the D-II semifinal opposite Pembroke/Portsmouth. Bedford, the undefeated, seven-time defending D-I champs, downed Concord, 9-0, in the final match for Crimson Tide coach Dave Page, who is stepping down after 16 seasons as Concord’s head man.

“It was a very humbling way to wrap up a 30-year coaching career,” said Page, who also coached at Bow High, “but I’ve had many more highs than lows and want to thank all of my former players for the many wonderful memories that I will cherish forever.”

Bow coach Drew Groves is retiring from teaching at Bow High after this school year, but he hasn’t made any final decisions about whether or not he’ll continue coaching the Falcons boys’ tennis team.

“I know I can come back and coach if I want, and I’ll make the decision early enough so they won’t be stuck without a coach, but I’m just not sure yet,” Groves said.

There will be major turnover on the Pembroke team next year as well, but that’s because the entire top six is made up of seniors.

“They’re all friends and they learned to play in high school, none of them are club players or play indoors, but they’re all battlers and they’re all about the same level, it’s pretty tight,” said PA coach Chris Sporcic, now in his fourth year with the team. “It’s been a fun year for them. This is the first time we’ve had a winning record since I’ve been around.”

Pembroke (9-3) started quickly as a team as No. 1 Finn Riccio and No. 2 Chase Culberson both got out to early leads against Windham (8-6) and coasted to wins – 8-2 for Riccio and 8-3 for Culberson. The Jaguars answered with their only win of the match, an 8-1 decision for Nick Antonucci at No. 4, to make it 2-1.

The remaining three matches were tight, but PA found a way to win them all. Nate Quinn outlasted Tiamay Adamchick, 8-6, at No. 6. The No. 3 match was back-and-forth the whole way, but PA’s Jason Dow held to go up 7-6 and then broke for an 8-6 win against Tim Wang. And Pembroke’s Ben Sporcic was down, 6-4, at No. 5 before coming back for an 8-6 win against Cole Gilbert.

“Ben wore the guy out, honestly,” coach Sporcic said. “Ben was probably the better player and (Gilbert) was probably the better athlete and just kept getting the ball back, but eventually Ben sent him left and right long enough that he just wore him out a bit.”

Windham’s top two players, Austin Wu and Charlie Murphy, got a measure of pay back in the doubles, beating PA’s Riccio and Culberson, 8-5, at No. 1 doubles. But PA took the other two doubles match – Dow and Tucker Rienert won, 9-8, at No. 2 and Sporcic and Quinn won, 8-6, at third doubles.

Kearsarge’s D-III quarterfinal win actually started with doubles to accommodate some academic commitments from the Plymouth team (6-5). Kearsarge coach Lynn Miller was worried that her team wouldn’t like the change in order, but she said she talked them into it by the time the match started, and the apparently that did the trick.

The Cougars (5-4) swept the doubles play with wins from the first team of Kaelin Lundberg and Toby MacLeod (8-1), the second team of Jared Roberts and Liam Miller (8-5) and the third team of Thomas Shepherd and Graham West (8-6).

Kearsarge kept up that momentum in singles as No. 1 Lundberg (8-1), No. 2 Roberts (8-3), No. 3 MacLeod (8-1) and No. 4 Miller (8-3) all rolled to wins. Davis West built a big lead at No. 5, dropped a few games as he ran out of gas, but then had a bite to eat and found the energy he needed to close out an 8-6 win.

“The top four played up to their potential today, so that was good to see,” coach Miller said.

The top of Lebanon’s ladder was too much for Bow (7-4). The Raiders got convincing wins from No. 1 Mason Arado (8-2), No. 2 Nolan Arado (8-0) and No. 3 Seamus Hickey (8-0) on their way to the D-II quarterfinal win.

Bow’s only win came at No. 4 from Noah Leucthenberger. The junior was down, 6-7, but won the last three games for a 9-7 decision. Bow’s Oliver Dolcino took an early lead at No. 6, but Finn Ericsen came back to take a 9-7 win. And Aiden Munro was in a back-and-forth match at No. 5 before losing in a tiebreaker to Lebanon’s Kian Schifterdecker, 9-8 (7-3).

The Falcons started their season with two losses to Lebanon (9-0), and now they ended it with another loss to the Raiders, but Groves saw plenty of improvement in between.

“This was so much more competitive than the first matches,” Groves said. “Lebanon is a great team, and I applaud them for coming back for those wins. But our guys have grown so much. Like I told them before the match, they are a different team than they were at the start of the season.”

Concord’s Page felt the same about his team, even though the Tide lost by the same 9-0 score to Bedford (14-0) as it did during its two regular-season matches against the Bulldogs.

“We played much better tennis today than in our two earlier meetings with Bedford, but they’re still several levels above us in quality,” Page said. “We could have had Federer and Nadal at one and two, split them up for doubles, and still not have had any legitimate chance to get a fifth point.”

Baseball

Conant 3, Bishop Brady 2

Key players: Bishop Brady — Connor Treybig (8 IP, 0 ER, 8 K; 2 hits, triple, 2 RBI), Jake Blake (3 hits, double, triple, 2 runs); Michael Thresher (1 IP, 0 ER, K; hit)

Highlights: Blake and Treybig hit back-to-back triples with two outs in the bottom of the first to give Brady a 1-0 lead, but Conant immediately answered with two unearned runs in the top of the second at Rollins Park. Treybig drove in Blake again in the fourth to tie things at 2-2, but that was all the Giants would get. They threatened in the eighth and ninth innings, but couldn’t scrape across a run.

Coach’s quote: “Frustrating loss. I knew that Conant team was better than what their record showed, but we didn’t execute when we needed to and we made way too many mistakes today and it cost us. We had plenty of chances to win the game but in the end we didn’t get it done” — Brady’s Skip Foy

Records: Conant 4-6; Bishop Brady 7-5

D-II Baseball

Lebanon 5, Bow 1

Key players: Lebanon — Braeden Falzarano (winning pitcher); Bow — Ethan Clark (5 IP, L, 3 R, 9 H, 4 K, 0 BB), Matt Lamy (2-for-3, RBI, SB), Calen Smith (HBP, run)

Highlights: The Falcons took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, and Clark made it stand through four innings, but Lebanon scored three in the fifth and two more in the sixth to earn the playoff win in Bow.

Records: Lebanon 8-6; Bow 5-7


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