Tennis: ConVal boys face tough test in opener against Souhegan

  • The ConVal boys' tennis team hosted Souhegan to open the spring season on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' tennis team hosted Souhegan to open the spring season on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' tennis team hosted Souhegan to open the spring season on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' tennis team hosted Souhegan to open the spring season on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' tennis team hosted Souhegan to open the spring season on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' tennis team hosted Souhegan to open the spring season on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' tennis team hosted Souhegan to open the spring season on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' tennis team hosted Souhegan to open the spring season on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' tennis team hosted Souhegan to open the spring season on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' tennis team hosted Souhegan to open the spring season on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' tennis team hosted Souhegan to open the spring season on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal boys' tennis team hosted Souhegan to open the spring season on Tuesday. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 4/3/2019 2:43:31 PM

The deep, experienced and talented ConVal boys’ tennis team faced a tough test in the season opener against defending Division II champion Souhegan.

“This is a good match to see where we’re at, because [Souhegan is] always very good,” said ConVal head coach Michael Young. 

The Cougars took the court Tuesday with a wealth of talent after only graduating one senior last year. ConVal’s top player is Zach Kriebel, and the Cougars are deep after that.

“This is probably not the best talent, but the most talent I’ve had from 1-10,” Young said.

Kriebel had his hands full in the opener against perhaps the toughest opponent he’ll face all year, Sam Goddard. Goddard plays with little margin for error, his serves and shots skimming just over the net, and though Kriebel gave him a match, Goddard came out on top, 8-2. 

“At leas t I made him work for it,” Kriebel said after the match.

No. 2 Everrett Landers found himself in a similar situation against Souhegan’s Kyle Gibson, and dropped that match 8-3.

With Ben Kriebel out through at least the April vacation due to injury, Taylor Burgess slid into the No. 3 spot, where he beat Souhegan’s Josh Lacaillade 8-2. 

Jamison Coty suffered a loss at No. 4; Noah Krason beat Nicholas Martinelli 8-4 at No. 5 and freshman Jaimini Viles lost an 8-3 match to Evan Leconto at No. 6.

“Everyone played well and the scores do not reflect how competitive the matches were,” Young said.

ConVal grabbed a win at No. 1 doubles, where Kriebel and Burgess beat Goddard and Martinelli 8-5 to keep the Cougar hopes alive, but Landers and Coty lost their No. 2 doubles match, making the final match, Brady Proctor and Dylan Daume vs. Michael Dodge and James Zeolie, academic. Nonetheless, Proctor and Daume played hard before losing 8-5.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the afternoon came just before the match, when Proctor was unanimously voted in as team captain despite not running much of a campaign or even being in the top six on the singles ladder. 

“I was just waiting for Zach to raise his hand,” Proctor said. But, Burgess nominated Proctor, and the ayes had it. 

Proctor has been working his way up the ladder through challenge matches and hopes to make it up to the fifth spot at some point this season.

ConVal (0-1) was set to face Pelham Wednesday after press time and then travel to Bow Friday at 4 p.m.

 

Conant 9, Monadnock 0

The Oriole boys swept their first match under new head coach Reuben Duncan, taking an opportunity to work on some specific skills against an undermanned Monadnock team.

“We treated it as a match, certainly a competitive match, but as a training opportunity  as well,” Duncan said.

Evan Bennett, Chris Newton, Connor Ahern and Steven Jones all won their singles matches with relative ease, while Damieon Greco and Kenny Kickingbear won by forfeit, as the Huskies did not have their full roster. 

Bennett and Newton  teamed up for a doubles win, as did Greco and Kickingbear.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Duncan said, “but I think that we can do pretty well this season.”

GIRLS’ TENNIS

Souhegan 7, ConVal 2

ConVal girls’ tennis lost their first match to Souhegan Tuesday at Jasper Valley Swim and Tennis Club in Amherst.

“Both teams played well considering it was the first match of the season for both teams,” said ConVal head coach Gloria Morison.

Julia Peters lost in a third-set tie-break to Lila Morgan, 9-8. The tie-breaker was a very close 5-7 with Morgan winning the final two points after Peters was down early in the match and came back to tie it up.

“It was definitely a battle of the strong forehands!” Morison said.

Zoe Garvey from Souhegan beat Catrina Kipka 8-6 in a hard-fought match with many long points.

Freshman Eva Calcutt played freshman Maddie Daniel of Souhegan who had an awesome serve and was a hard hitter. Calcutt lost 3-8 but had some beautiful ground-strokes and volleys.

Junior Lena LaFleur beat Lily Hipp 8-5 and was running down a lot of shots.

Sophomore Sandra MacKay lost to Simmone Dodge but played well showing some great backhands and serving.

Senior Jill Karlicek won the other singles match of the day 8-2, showing a good deal of athleticism.

Peters and Calcutt lost in the first doubles slot with a fair amount of unforced errors, 8-3.  LaFleur and Kipka played No. 2 doubles, losing 8-5 but putting up a great fight with some great communication, chasing down lots of balls and some excellent volleys.

Karlicek and MacKay were at 6-6 when they lost the last two games to fall 8-6.

ConVal (0-1) was scheduled to host Pelham Wednesday after press time and then host Bow Friday at 4 p.m.

Kearsarge 6, Conant 3

The Conant girls opened their season with a loss to Kearsarge on Monday. No. 2 Abby Wheeler and No. 3 Elizabeth Gonyea won Conant’s only two singles matches; No. 1 Sarah Smith, No. 4 Kayley Bennett, No. 5 Emily Muilenberg and No. 6 Victoria Bennett all suffered defeats.

Wheeler and Kayley Bennett won 8-6 at No. 2 doubles, but the teams of Smith/Gonyea and Muilenberg/Victoria Bennett were knocked off.

Conant (0-1) hosts WLC Monday at 4 p.m.


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