New Canaan boys tennis tops Warde
NEW CANAAN -- History is something that is cherished by the New Canaan High School boys tennis program.
So when the Rams were ousted in the quarterfinals of last year's FCIAC playoffs, there was a sense of disappointment.
Well, revenge was sweet Thursday as the Rams downed Warde 5-0 in FCIAC playoff quarterfinal round at home.
"Losing to Ridgefield in the 2014 quarterfinals was a motivation for all the returning players this year," explained New Canaan senior captain Patrick Hompe. "We worked to improve and build on things this year. We were very proud of our 14-2 record in the regular season. Getting the No. 2 seed and a home match today was a big boost. We're taking nobody for granted and we're looking forward to all our postseason challenges."
The next step for New Canaan will be hosting No. 3 Greenwich in Tuesday's FCIAC semifinals. Greenwich defeated No. 6 Ridgefield, 4-2 Thursday. No. 4 Ludlowe travels to No. 1 Staples in Tuesday's other semifinal.
New Canaan earned Thursday's triumph despite not having the services of No. 1 singles player Kyle Mettler. Mettler, who sat with a minor injury, could be available for Tuesday's semifinal.
So Thursday, the New Canaan singles players moved up a notch.
There were victories from No. 4 Chris Greene, No. 5 Reynolds Chin and No. 3 Hompe along with a straight-set triumph from the Rams' No. 2 doubles pair of Theo Crowley and Carlos Mauleon for an insurmountable 4-0 edge. Alex Merjian, playing at No. 1 singles, completed his straight-set win at nearly the same moment for the 5-0 final.
"The guys were very proud of the 14-2 regular season," said New Canaan's second-year head coach Ben Young. "We're peaking at the right time and everybody stepped up in Kyle (Mettler's) absence. I'm very excited about our postseason chances."
Meanwhile, Warde is looking forward to having success in the state tournament.
"We were the No. 7 seed today. All six of our losses came to the top six seeds in the FCIAC playoffs," said Warde coach John Harvey. "We competed well against New Canaan in the regular season. And our guys competed today. New Canaan is very strong. They were 14-2 for a reason. We're focusing very positively on the states."
NEW CANAAN 5, WARDE 0, (at New Canaan): Singles: Alex Merjian (NC) def Jack Johnson, 6-0, 7-6; John Warner (NC) vs Henry Johnson 6-3, 2-6 (incomplete); Patrick Hompe (NC) def Kevin Mercado 6-3, 6-3; Chris Greene (NC) def. Matt Mosher 6-1, 6-2; Reynolds Chin (NC) def. Brian Gaugler 6-4, 6-3. Doubles: Tommy Gilio and Sam Havens (NC) vs Ethan Wolf and Jack Wilkinson 6-4 6-5 (incomplete), Theo Crowley and Carlos Mauleon (NC) def Eddie Lee and Geoff Gaugler 6-2, 6-2. Highlights: No. 2 New Canaan faces No. 3 Greenwich in Tuesday's FCIAC semifinals.