With the postseason right around the corner, the Marblehead High boys tennis team (10-0 in the Northeastern Conference, 15-3 overall) defeated another opponent to maintain that winning momentum and begin a brand new week with more success. Non-league foe Manchester Essex, a perennial state tournament squad, provided the opposition for the Magicians on May 22 in Marblehead, only to lose, 4-1.
Junior Mika Garber defeated Jack Cummins of the Hornets in first singles, 6-1, 6-0. Garber’s classmate Jost Eggebrecht also won in straight sets against Charlie Virden in second singles, 6-3, 6-4. Sophomore Matthew Sherf completed the singles sweep with a 6-2, 6-0 triumph over Finn Straub.
Sophomores Etan Farfel and Jayden Janock hooked up in first doubles to beat Sander Brenner and Jack Lawler, 6-0, 6-0. Sophomores Luke Miller and Anthony Vizy lost to Finn Ireland and Charlie Langendo in second doubles, 6-3, 6-3.
In sub-varsity play, senior co-captain Jimmy King and sophomore Austin Bacon won, 6-0. Senior co-captain Jack Wykes and sophomore Ben Zaltsman did the same, 6-2. Sophomores Leo Winocour and Quinn Fletcher continued that same winning formula, 6-2.
There was no rest for the weary for the Marblehead boys, who traveled to the Pingree School the very next day to face the Hamilton-Wenham Generals. It was a close match, but the visitors still came out on top, 3-2.
“Both of our doubles teams played incredibly well,” said coach Elisabeth Foukal. “While first doubles (Farfel and Janock) won, second doubles (King and Bacon) put up a great fight in the first set before losing in a tiebreaker, 10-8. They made some excellent serves and good down-the-line shots to keep it close.”
Garber was able to beat Will Gern, a crafty lefty, in first singles, 6-3, 6-1. However, Eggebrecht lost to Eloise Chanel in second singles, 6-3, 6-1. Sherf then got his teammates back on the winning track after topping Keenan Maguire in third singles, 6-1, 6-2. “It was a first-rate match,” said Foukal. “Matthew keeps on improving by keeping the ball deep, while using his lefty advantage with forceful forehands.”
Farfel and Janock pulled through in a tight first doubles match against Rory Taylor and Ben Gasser, 7-5, 6-4. King and Bacon then lost a tough aforementioned second doubles match to Max Clarke and Henry Stinson, 7-6 (10-8), 6-0.
The Magicians were scheduled to go up against host BC High, another non-league counterpart, on May 24, but it was suspended, because of rain. The JV team played at home that day against the junior Eagles under the direction of coach Priscilla Danforth. The home team ended up dropping a 5-0 decision.
“We played our final match of the season at home against BC High, and there was some outstanding tennis played across all five courts, despite the score,” said Danforth. “We made them work for their wins by playing excellent tennis, while demonstrating superb sportsmanship.”
First singles player Luke Roth held his own in a long two-setter against BC High’s Sean Delorie, but still lost the match, 7-5, 6-4. T.J. Kelly competed well in second singles, according to the coach.
“(Kelly) played an excellent and lengthy match against Jack Morgan, who prevailed, 6-0, 6-2,” added Danforth.
Third singles player Quinn Sullivan lost to Chris Saba in a close three-setter, 5-7, 6-4, 10-5. Graydon Waller and Jeffery Kucharsky, playing first doubles, lost in straight sets to Christian Grund and Chris Murphy, 6-0, 7-5. The second doubles team of Allen Canner and Adam Loughlin fell, 6-2, 6-3 to John Botsavales and Liam Deane.
Bring on the state tournament
Since wrapping up the regular season in that suspended match at BC High, the varsity has been getting ready for the Division 2 state tournament, which is scheduled to get underway May 31 against Oliver Ames at home, starting at 5 p.m.
The Magicians are ninth in the power rankings, while Oliver Ames is 24th overall after completing the regular season with an 11-7 record.