Friday, April 26, 2024

Boys’ tennis drops season-opener to South Portland

By Matt Pascarella

The Windham High boys’ tennis team competed in its first match of the season against South Portland and put in a solid effort in singles and doubles but lost to the Red Riots, 5-0, on Tuesday, April 23 at Windham.

Windham sophomore Nolan McPhail returns a serve during
the boys' tennis season-opener against South Portland on
Tuesday, April 23 at Windham High School.
“We were just trying to do as well as we can for the first match,” said Windham singles sophomore Carter Mathieu. “We had a lot of fun and that’s what matters and hopefully throughout the season we can improve. We have a lot of time to improve, we’re a young team that has a lot of potential. It was definitely tough, my opponent was very good at placement; everything I hit was coming back, I had to find ways to hit that I haven’t experienced before ... it was a big battle, but a good first experience. I think I was doing a great job of staying in it. I’m hoping this will give me an idea of what it’s like to play singles ... I can improve throughout the whole season. Getting my serve needs work. I’ve worked on it for a while and it’s getting a lot more powerful. Hopefully I can get it to be really consistent. We [need to] put topspin on our shots, stay low to the net and match the ability of the opponent.”

In the singles matches, South Portland defeated Windham junior Zachary Noonan 6-0, 6-0. Windham sophomore Nolan McPhail lost, 6-1 and 6-0, and Mathieu lost, 6-1 and 6-0. In the doubles matches, Windham juniors Asher Knott and Brian Gilheany worked very hard in the first match but fell, 6-4, and lost the second match, 6-0. Windham sophomore Nate Paulding and senior Fabrizio Marcuzzo were defeated, 6-0, and, 6-0.

“It was definitely intense – a very close match up,” said Knott. “The way my South Portland doubles partners play, you have to think about placement. I felt the best I ever had, keeping it away from them and where I want it to be. In previous seasons, I’ve struggled with that. Maybe we could have had a bit more momentum and keep the momentum going. Our overall consistency is really good, our ability to respond to what they did was really good. We could work on positioning on the court and being caught in the middle. I felt we did pretty well; it being the first match, we are just getting started. I want to improve from that performance, and we have a good chance to do that.”

The score only reflects part of the match. Windham’s second doubles team of Paulding and Marcuzzo had never played in a varsity match before. Even though they lost, they played hard against two very tough opponents. This will only make them stronger for future matches. All of Windham’s singles players were doubles players last year. They, too, showed tremendous hustle on the court and in Noonan and McPhail’s matches, it was so close that it really could have gone either way. Mathieu has been working hard in the off-season and gave a great effort against a seasoned player.

“It’s very early in the season, so I’m really not concerned,” said Windham boys’ varsity tennis coach Garry Stone. “They competed and did well and I know my kids had fun. Some positives, second doubles ... got their feet wet. I was very encouraged by first doubles ... in singles Carter, Nolan and Zach ... were all doubles players last year. No doubt in my mind they’ll win their fair share. Returning topspin needs work, we’re just not used to it. We lost that match, but we’re going to compete ... have fun, get better.” <

No comments:

Post a Comment