Friday, June 7, 2024

Windham varsity boys’ tennis falls to Portland in preliminary playoff

By Matt Pascarella

The Windham varsity boys’ tennis team was in ninth place going into their preliminary playoff match against eighth-place Portland on Friday, May 31 at Deering Oaks Park in Portland. Windham battled but lost 5-0 after every player gave their all. They finished the season with a 5-8 record.

Windham junior Zac Noonan returns a serve with force on
Friday, May 31 during a preliminary boys' tennis playoff
match against Portland at Deering Oaks Park in Portland.
“It’s really just a good group of guys,” said Windham assistant boys’ tennis coach Andrew Wing. “It’s rare all the guys aren’t at a practice. They like to have fun together, but when it’s time to do a drill, they take it seriously.”

In the singles matches, Windham junior Zac Noonan fought hard, but lost 0-6 and 0-6. Sophomore Nolan McPhail lost 4-6 and 1-6, sophomore Carter Mathieu lost 3-6 and 4-6.

“We’ve improved a lot from the beginning,” said Noonan. “Maybe it wasn’t the best match today for a few of us ... our doubles have gotten a lot better with communication and knowing where to be; our singles have gotten better with trying to find each other’s weaknesses and use those to get us better, to get consistent. We had fun and hustled while putting up a good fight; trying to adjust to different players’ styles and different courts. We were ready to play our best and not [go easy] on them, and I think we did that.”

In their first doubles match, juniors Brian Gilheany and Asher Knott forced a 10-point super tie-breaker where they came very close to getting the win after a 6-7 set and a 7-5 set win; they narrowly lost 8-10.

“We took the first and second set to a tiebreak and all of the points were really close; it was a really good match,” said Gilheany. “We improved a lot and gave it our best shot today – I feel like it was pretty even. The hits were really good and the coordination between Asher and our plays were very well laid out. If we had played a little stronger in the beginning of the first set it could have changed things, but it was really close.”

In its second doubles match, Windham sophomores Padrick McGuire and Nate Paulding lost 3-6 and 5-7.

“This year was a progress year, next year we’ll be a team to be reckoned with,” said McGuire. “We came together as a team and progressed together and next year we’ll be practicing very well and playing very well. We knew they were a very good team; we weren’t exactly confident, but we were prepared. We expected them to be very good, but we were also ready to play. Communication, and good sportsmanship went well.”

In speaking with the players, they were pleased with their performance this season, saw improvements and are looking forward to next season.

“I’m very happy with how this season has turned out,” said Windham boys’ tennis head coach Garry Stone. “We started 0-4 then we won four in a row; it was really successful – we should do fairly well next year. These guys are resilient; they play hard, and it blows my mind how much they’ve improved this season. It’s a credit to them ... Carter battled; I like both the doubles ... just the fact that they ... stayed with it. Zac battled like he always does, Nolan did well. I feel like one through seven they battled hard, and they really tried their best; I just look forward to next year, I think we’re going to be a tough team to beat. I’m very proud of these guys, they all work hard and love playing tennis.” <

No comments:

Post a Comment