Andover Boys Tennis Takes Wins In Two of Week’s Three Matches

Following on the heels of a propitious 2 – 0 start, the Boys Varsity Tennis team continued its early streak of victories by striking quickly and effectively against a challenging Groton opponent. The Blue won by a margin of 4 – 3. After the cancellation of Andover’s April 9 match-up against Concord Academy due to weather conditions, the squad was quick to get back on its feet without missing a step. Andover won in its first two doubles matches, 8 – 5 and 8 – 4, respectively. Despite falling short in its final doubles game (by a score of 3 – 8), the team had already earned that one point that proved so crucial to the outcome of the contest. In singles matches, PA’s top two players picked up the slack in dispatching their two opponents. Michael Li ’06, a freshman talent who has won all of his singles matches so far this season, promptly defeated Groton player Stu Londesberg in two sets, 6 – 2, 6 – 4. Joe Musumeci ’03, a seasoned veteran of the varsity team, overcame the odds early on by powering past his opponent in the final two sets of a three-set match; Musumeci defeated Teddy Bunzel, 1 – 6, 6 – 2, 7 – 5. Returning Upper Russel Dykema ’04 was unable to overcome his opponent’s play. Dykema, who has been mired in a minor slump to start the season, lost 3 – 6, 3 – 6. Team captain Simon Hawkins ’03 mastered his opponent John Grenier in what turned out to be a riveting two-set match. After squeezing past Grenier in the first set, 7 – 6 (7 – 5), Hawkins surged past Grenier to win the second set, 6 – 2. Two new recruits, Dan Wagman ’06 and John Weigel ’05, both lost in their respective contests. Wagman was unable to prevail (he lost his match 1 – 6, 1 – 6) and Weigel, despite a commendable effort, lost to Ian MacGregor 6 – 1, 4 – 6, 1 – 6. Andover was unable to keep their momentum rolling as their pleasantly surprising three-game winning streak came to an abrupt end last Saturday as the team lost to NMH by a score of 2 – 5. The match, which was supposed to be PA’s home opener for the season was instead rescheduled as an away contest due to poor weather conditions. Despite the new location the team still had to contend with wet and slippery conditions on NMH’s concrete courts. The team, competing for a second straight day, displayed some of its weariness in dropping two of its three opening doubles match-ups. After losing its first doubles match, 5 – 8, the Blue was able to recover and bounce back with an 8 – 1 trouncing of the opposition’s 2nd and 4th seeds. The effort was in vain, however, as NMH triumphed decisively in its third doubles campaign, coming away with one point to contribute to their final score. In singles match-ups, Li won yet again, defeating Willie Thwaites by a score of 8 – 6. Musumeci, however, was unable to hold out against adversary Ryan Barcone, falling to his opponent by an agonizingly close score of 8 – 9. Dykema, in turn, lost to Matt Wacks, 2 – 8. Wacks made use of a good, low slice shot and a powerful second serve to overcome Dykema in this eight-game pro-set. Hawkins fell to his opponent in a similar fashion, losing 2 – 8. Wagman was able to put forth an outstanding performance, adding something of a silver lining to an otherwise bleak day; Wagman defeated Ian Behr, 8 – 5. Weigel, another prospect for the team’s future, was unable to deal with his adversary’s “chip and charge” technique and aggressive style of play and lost 6 – 8. Despite the contest’s unsuccessful outcome, Coach Tom Hodgson praised the team by awarding it a gold star in his record-book, signifying his approval of the team’s effort given the conditions of play. In its first home game of the season, Andover trounced an unprepared and under-manned Tufts squad by the score of 5 – 0. The Blue was able to shine in both singles and doubles matches, resulting in a flawless performance against Tufts (which chose to only bring four players to the game). In doubles matches, a team of Hawkins and Li won with a convincing score of 8 – 4. Wagman and Weigel triumphed by the score of 8 – 5 in their match as well. PA picked up where it had left off throughout the following singles games. Hawkins dominated his opponent, winning in two sets (6 – 0, 6 – 0). Although Dykema dropped his first set, he was able to persevere and come away with a hard-fought victory in three sets. Both Musumeci and Li triumphed in their respective matches as well, reaffirming Andover’s overall victory. With a record of 4 – 1, the squad anxiously awaits its upcoming match tomorrow against Deerfield.