High Schools: Concord boys’ tennis team dunks April in the dumpster

  • Concord player Finn Brown returns a shot against Memorial on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Brown had to retire due to injury later in the match. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Concord number one singles player Daniel Pedersen returns a shot against Memorial on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Concord number one singles player Daniel Pedersen returns a shot against Memorial on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 5/13/2021 10:32:21 AM

A rebuilding Concord boys’ tennis team opened its season against the top teams in Division I – Bedford, Hanover, Exeter, Derryfield – and it didn’t go well. The Tide was swept off all nine courts in six straight matches.

Hoping to keep up his team’s morale, Concord coach Dave Page borrowed a motivational tactic from basketball coach Shaka Smart, who lit a calendar on fire after a bad stretch when he was at Virginia Commonwealth University. 

“I didn’t set it on fire, but I took this big calendar and I marked it up with all the results from each day, 0-9, 0-9, 0-9, and then I crumpled it up and I had Finn Conery slam dunk it into that big dumpster at Memorial Field, so everybody was cheering, ‘April’s in the dumpster now, we got to flush that,’” Page said. “But it’s been the kids’ doing to play well, I was just trying to help them stay the course, and so it’s been really great to see some things come together for them.”

Those things started with the first few individual wins in a tight loss to Keene last week, got much better with the first win of the season on Monday against Spaulding, and kept looking up with Wednesday’s 7-2 home win over Manchester Memorial.

“We really needed to get that first win under our belt to get some confidence. The fact that we did that, and we had a lot of close matches against Keene last Friday, gave us have a better mindset today and that helped us, especially in some of those closer matches,” Page said.

The two closest matches belonged to No. 1 Daniel Pedersen and No. 5 Tyler Coskren. Pedersen pulled out an 8-6 win against Todd Tran, clinching the match by breaking Tran’s serve.

“(Tran) is a pretty good number one who has been at the top of their ladder for several years,” Page said. “Dan has been serving well lately and his volleying and net play has improved and he’s just become a little bit better at constructing points and not trying to rush to finish them off.”

Coskren was down, 6-5, to Cam Brown, but won three straight games for an 8-6 win.

“Tyler had an opponent who is very similar to him, very athletic and steady,” Page said. “He was able to come back just on the basis of a little bit better placement, I think, moving the ball around a little bit better. And he was able to win some points at the net late in the match with some precise volleys.”

Conery, the calender dumpster dunker, picked up an 8-4 win at No. 2 singles against Tiago Mendes. David Bean (8-3 at No. 4) and Knox Brown (8-0 at No. 5) picked up the Tide’s other singles wins. No. 3 Finn Brown was in the lead against Memorial’s Sean McCaffery when he rolled his ankle and, after trying to play through it, decided to forfeit.

“It just didn’t seem like the right thing to do to keep playing on it,” Page said. “We hope to have him back for Friday’s match (at Memorial).”

The injury shook up Concord’s doubles lineup, but Page was still pleased with what he saw, especially from Pedersen and Carter Pratt at No. 2 doubles, where they picked up an 8-3 win. Coskren and Knox Brown won on an injury retirement from Memorial at No. 3 doubles, while Tran and Mendes beat Conery and Bean, 8-6, at No. 1 doubles.

Boys' Tennis

Bow 6, Kearsarge 3

Key players: Bow — Dominik Jurcins (8-2 win at No. 1), Hunter Duncan (8-5 win at No. 2), Colby Smith (8-2 win at No. 3); Kearsarge — Liam Miller (8-6 win at No. 4), Davis West (8-4 win at No. 5), Graham West (8-3 win at No. 6)

Highlights: When these two teams met on Monday, they were all tied after singles before Bow pulled out a 5-4 win. It was 3-3 after singles again on Wednesday, but this time the Division II Falcons swept through the doubles matches to claim the win against the D-III Cougars. Bow's Jurcins and Duncan doubled up on their singles wins with an 8-2 win at first doubles. Smith teamed with Aiden Munro for an 8-5 win at second doubles. And after they both lost in singles, Bow's Oliver Dolcino and Dan Blandini came back and claimed an 8-6 win at third doubles.

Records: Bow 4-3; Kearsarge 3-4

Girls' Tennis

Kearsarge 9, Bow 0

Key players: Kearsarge — Addy Stadler (8-0 win at No. 1), Estelle Chmura (9-8 win at No. 3)

Highlights – Stadler showed excellent composure in her win at No. 1, and Chmura came back from 2-5 down to win in a tiebreker, 9-8 (7-4), against the same opponent she lost to on Monday. Stadler carried her momentum into doubles and teamed with Callie Valeri for a 9-8 (7-4) win at first doubles against the Bow team they lost to on Monday. 

Coach's quote: “We are hoping to finish the season strong and bring this momentum to the playoffs.” — Kearsarge’s Liz Lincoln

Records: Kearsarge 8-0 ; Bow 2-6

Bishop Brady 7, Pembroke Academy 2

Key players: Bishop BradyPembroke Academy — Madi Apgar, Autumn LaGrande

Highlights: PA’s Apgar stayed strong throughout her match and excelled in the tie breaker for a 9-8 (7-3) win at No. 4. LaGrande used deep serves to win her second match in a row.

Coach's quote: “It was our second time playing Bishop Brady in the same week and they dominated our girls. Shout out to Julia Puleo it was her birthday and she won in singles and doubles.” — Pembroke’s David W. Goulet

Records: Bishop Brady 5-1; Pembroke Academy 0-6

Girls' Tennis

Concord 8, Manchester Memorial 1

Key players: Concord — Eleanor Malette, Leila Spires, Joanna Dustin, Kristin Womack, Laura Houle, Emily Ahlfeld

Records: Concord 3-5; Manchester Memorial 1-7


Concord 6, Winnacunnet 2

Key players: Concord — Jonah Wachter (7 IP, W, 4 hits, 2 BB, 1 ER, 8 K; RBI, run), Ryan Philbrick (hit, 2 RBI, walk, 2 SB), Tyler Wright (hit, 2 runs), Jarrad Willette (hit, run), KevinMcDonough (sac fly RBI, great defense), Cam McGonigle (hit)

Highlights: The Crimson Tide played some small ball, took advantage of Winnacunnet miscues and got yet another solid outing from Wachter to claim the win at Memorial Field. The Warriors scored first, but Concord answered when Wright scored in the bottom of the second on McDonough’s sacrifice fly. Winnacunnet went back on top with a solo home run in the fourth before the Tide scored five runs in the bottom of the sixth on three errors, a walk and a two-out, two-run single from Philbrick.

Coach's quote: “Jonah pitched a great game against a very good Winnacunnet team. We played very good defense and were able to put some pressure on them in the sixth with some small ball. Great win against a very good team.” — Concord’s Scott P. Owen

Records: Concord 9-3; Winnacunnet 11-2

Merrimack Valley 4, John Stark 3

Key players: Merrimack Valley — Owen Bernier (7 IP, W, 9 K), Aidan Lacasse (2-for-3, 2 RBI), Cam Chevarie (1-for-4, RBI, run); John Stark — Brady Philibotte (HR), Jason Crean (double),  Nate Innerfield (RBI double, SB; 2.1 IP, 0 R 2 H, 3 K), Alex Moore (3.1 IP, 4 R, 8 K)

Highlights: After giving up a run in the first, MV’s Bernier settled down and struck out a season-high nine in his complete-game effort. The junior also pulled his team even at 1-1 in the bottom of the third with an RBI double. MV took a 4-1 lead in the next inning on an RBI single from Chevarie and a two-run double from Lacasse. The Generals clawed back with single runs in the fifth and sixth, including a solo home run from Philibotte, but Bernier closed the door with a seven-pitch, 1-2-3 seventh inning. 

Coach's quote: “We had our chances today but couldn’t execute any situational hitting and had some lapses on the bases. Bernier threw strikes for MV and kept us at bay all day.” — Stark’s Dennis Pelletier

“Owen set the tone for us today. Great performance. Good to see some timely hitting by Chevarie and Lacasse to get the offense going.” — MV’s Sean Wheeler

Records: Merrimack Valley 3-5; John Stark 5-3


Concord 17, Manchester Memorial 3, 6 inn.

Key players: Concord — Grace MacDonald (6 IP, W, 2 H, 3 ER, 8 K, 4 BB; 2-for-4, HR, 4 RBI), Libby Brown (3-for-4, 2 triples, double, 3 RBI), Kyleigh Gray (3-for-4, 2 doubles, 3 RBI, 2 runs, SB), Sarah Taylor (2-for-3, 2 runs, SB), Anna Gaby (hit, 2 runs, RBI), Jaelyn Kelleher (hit, RBI), Lillian Rienstra (hit, 3 walks, 3 runs, SB, great catch at shortstop), Elizabeth Blinn (double, 2 walks, 2 runs, SB), Kennedy Ramos (double, run), Quincy Bolduc (RBI), Olivia Crawford (walk, 2 runs), Delaney Duford (2 runs)

Highlights: Brown tripled twice in one inning, sparking an 8-run third, and MacDonald crushed a 3-run homer over the fence in left-center in the fourth. MacDonald also earned her first win in her first varsity start in the circle. The number 6-9 batters – MacDonald, Gray, Gaby and Brown – combined for nine hits (six of them for extra bases), eight runs and 11 RBI.

Coach's quote: “It’s great seeing so many different players contributing. We want to continue building and improving as the tourney approaches.” — Concord assistant coach Sandy Smith

Records: Concord 10-2; Manchester Memorial 0-7

John Stark 5, Merrimack Valley 4

Key players: John Stark — Izzy Nelson (7 IP, W, 7 K; 2-for-4, 2 RBI), Gracie Bolduc (2-for-4, walk, 2 runs),  Libby Barnes (defense), Diana Stafford (defense); Merrimack Valley — Emma Steenbeke (1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI), Sadie Barton (2-for-4), Liv Lacasse (7 IP, 8 H, 5 K)

Highlights: Stark set the tone early, scoring three runs on four hits in the top of the first. The Generals cashed in on two walks in the fifth to up the lead to 5-1 before MV rallied in the seventh. Steenbeke blasted a two-run home run over the center field fence to make it 5-3. Addie Allen then walked and scored on a Kalee Keyser double before Nelson ended the game with a strikeout with the tying run on second.

Coach's quote: “Both teams battled this week and played some really good softball. Our team is starting to fire on all cylinders which is nice to see as we head toward our final four games before the playoffs begin.” — Stark’s Gerry Morin

“We spotted John Stark three runs in the first innning, Liv Lacasse kept us in the game to give a chance in the 7th, great effort and the kids never gave up.” — MV’s Kevin O’Brien

Records: John Stark 4-4; Merrimack Valley 5-2

Hopkinton 4, Trinity 0

Key players: Hopkinton — Megan Kimball-Rhines (7 IP, 2 H, 10 K), Julia Baer (2-for-4, triple, run, RBI), Maurgan McGrath (2-for-3), Maddy Follansbee (1-for-3, double, 2 RBI)

Highlights: The Hawks took a 2-0 lead after one and that was more than enough support for Kimball-Rhines. The Hawks had several chances to break it open, but Trinity got key outs in key situations and Hopkinton stranded 11. The Division III Hawks and their unblemished record will face a test next week with a pair of games against D-II Merrimack Valley. 

Coach's quote: “It was an experience playing on the turf, we really relied on MKR to shut them down today.” — Hopkinton’s Dan Meserve

Records: Hopkinton 7-0; Trinity 2-6

JV results

The John Stark JV baseball team beat Merrimack Valley, 9-4, to improve to 5-0. Chris Dustin and Deltyn Williams pitched great on the mound combining for 10 strikeouts. in the game and Logan Montgomery had three hits for the Generals, while Hunter Keim, Chris Dustin and Miles Lanier each had two hits, and pitchers Chris Dustin and Deltyn Williams combined for 10 strikeouts. 

Youth softball

Concord Northeast Local Baskit defeated Hopkinton Convenient MD in majors softball play. Fiona Luce, Katie Lavoie, Rowan Steinberg and Katelyn Fennelly played well on both offense and defense.

Youth baseball

Pitchers Tyler Fennelly, Tommy Weaver and David Wicks led Banks to an 8-6 Babe Ruth win against Concord Police Patrolmen's Association. Deagan Hines and Theo Schneible pitched well for CPPA while Bernie Masur had a hit and played solid defense.


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