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Boys Tennis

Clear signs of improvement

ConVal plays best match of season, but falls to Bishop Brady, 5-4

  • The ConVal boys tennis team fell to Bishop Brady 5-4 on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys tennis team fell to Bishop Brady 5-4 on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys tennis team fell to Bishop Brady 5-4 on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys tennis team fell to Bishop Brady 5-4 on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys tennis team fell to Bishop Brady 5-4 on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys tennis team fell to Bishop Brady 5-4 on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys tennis team fell to Bishop Brady 5-4 on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys tennis team fell to Bishop Brady 5-4 on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys tennis team fell to Bishop Brady 5-4 on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)
  • The ConVal boys tennis team fell to Bishop Brady 5-4 on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.<br/><br/>(Staff photo by Tim Goodwin)

ConVal boys tennis coach Mike Young was waiting for his team to have a breakout performance.

Up until Tuesday, the Cougars had played well at times, but not for an entire match. And even though Tuesday’s rescheduled contest with Bishop Brady ended in a 5-4 defeat for ConVal, Young was pleased with his players.

“I’d have to say we played our best match of the year,” said Young. “There were a lot of good matches.”

The match was originally supposed to be played on April 12, but a snowy mix forced it to be pushed back to Tuesday. But that did not bother Young, who began the season having lost five players who frequently filled out the top six of the lineup.

Yet the extra time to prepare did not matter, as the team had barely practiced in the last two weeks between school vacation and a busy early season schedule. But after falling to Hollis/Brookline 6-3 on Monday, ConVal bounced right back.

“They’ve been improving, but the problem is that we haven’t had a lot of practices,” said Young. “We’ve played a lot of matches in three weeks.”

It was a tough start to the day. Senior No. 1 Sam Pennington lost 8-3, while junior Brendan Grenier fell 8-2 at No. 3, despite a number of good games that just did not go his way.

Senior Isaiah Claggett-Singleton got things going with an 8-5 victory in the fourth position. Claggett-Singleton was up 5-0 to begin the match and then fought to pull out his second straight win following an 8-2 decision in the third spot on Monday.

Junior No. 2 Daniel Forrest battled back from a 6-2 deficit to win four of the next five games before losing 8-6. No. 5 Andrew Pierce lost 8-2, but Jack Lithgow captured a hard fought 8-6 victory at No. 6.

“They’re really getting better. I was really happy with the way they all played,” said Young.

So after singles play, the Cougars trailed 4-2. And with an 8-3 loss at No. 1 doubles by Pennington and Forrest, Bishop Brady clinched the team win. But Grenier and Claggett-Singleton won 8-6 and Pierce and Lithgow cruised 8-3 to make it a close final score.

Claggett-Singleton and Lithgow became the first players to win both matches in a day this season.

The loss was one of a few matches that Young believes could have gone either way.

The Cougars stand at 1-7 going into Friday’s home match with Lebanon.

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