The high school spring sports season has flipped the calendar to a new month, and as a result the teams are ready to make that final push for a postseason berth or solidify higher seeds to make sure they stay at home as long as possible in order to avoid those long road trips in the new state tournament format.
For the Marblehead High boys tennis team (8-0 in the Northeastern Conference, 8-2 overall), they made sure they kept up their winning momentum by shutting out Winthrop, 5-0, on May 1, while starting to give some regulars some time off.
“Resting our first singles player (junior Mika Garber) against the Vikings, everyone else moved up in the lineup, giving sophomore Etan Farfel a chance to play singles and sophomore Ben Zaltsman an opportunity to make his varsity debut in second doubles,” said coach Elisabeth Foukal.
It all started with junior Jost Eggebrecht, who topped Winthrop’s Jack Osburn in first singles, 6-0, 6-0. Sophomore Matthew Sherf took care of Luke Owen in second singles, 6-0, 6-1. It was then Farfel’s turn, and he appeared right at home as a singles player after beating Andrew Strangle, 6-0, 6-0.
Sophomores Jayden Janock and Luke Miller maintained the trend in first doubles, when they easily defeated Joe Romano and Nick Corelli, 6-1, 6-0.
Senior co-captain Jimmy King took Zaltsman, the aforementioned varsity newcomer, under his wings, and together they defeated Allen Gao and Nathaniel Dressier in second doubles, 6-0, 6-1.
Two days later, Marblehead prevailed on its home court against a solid Gloucester team, 4-1. The match started late because of bus issues and AP exams, but it didn’t bother the surging Magicians.
It was sophomore Leo Winocour’s turn to make his varsity debut in second doubles, teaming up with King.
Garber returned to beat Andre Payano Sosa in first singles, 6-2, 6-1, to begin the Gloucester match. Eggebrecht went up against Anders Pittman in second singles, and he too won in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. Sherf did the same to Luke McElhenny in third singles, 6-1, 6-4.
Farfel and Janock triumphed over Dominic Paine and Cam Widtfeldt in first doubles, 7-5, 6-3.
King and Winocour lost to Drew White and Cole Ciolono in second doubles, 7-6, 6-0.
“They played an excellent first set before their Gloucester counterparts roared back to take control of the match,” said Foukal.
In sub-varsity action, senior co-captain Jack Wykes and sophomore Austin Bacon had to settle for a 5-5 tie due to the late start of the overall match.
Earlier in the day, the Marblehead boys found out they are ranked fifth in Division 2 out of 51 teams.
The Magicians wrapped up the first week of May with another win at home, when they defeated a formidable Beverly squad, 5-0.
“It was the same score as the last time we played them, but only this time it had a dramatic comeback in third singles, when Sherf beat senior Ryan Dunleavy after splitting the first two sets evenly, 6-3, 3-6, to force a third set,” said Foukal. “Matthew was down 5-2 in that third set before rallying to win in a tiebreaker. He showed incredible perseverance and maturity for such a young player.”
Garber started off the Beverly match with a straight-set first singles win over Frederick Clavarino, 6-1, 6-4. Eggebrecht experienced similar results against Matteo Quattrocchi in second singles, 6-3, 6-1. As mentioned previously, Sherf persevered past Dunleavy in third singles, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (7-3).
Farfel and Janock beat Luca Pasquarella and Liam Timpone in first doubles, 6-1, 6-4. Sophomores Luke Miller and Anthony Vizy then completed the sweep in second doubles with a decisive win over Rae Gedongoni and Xander Alexeyev, 6-1, 6-0.
In sub-varsity action, senior co-captains Wykes and King beat Logan Hall and Nate Fein, 6-1. Sophomores Quinn Fletcher and Bacon did the same to Harrison Finamore and Diogo Pickler by the exact same score.
Winocour played singles against one of Beverly’s first doubles players, Liam Timpone, and was leading, 3-0, before Timpone came back to win this JV match, 6-3.
Zaltsman also played a JV singles match, and his opponent was the other Beverly first doubles player, Luca Pasquarella. He ended up losing by the exact same score.
“Strong play from our sub-varsity players bodes well for the future of Marblehead tennis,” said Foukal.