Wrecker rackets beat Rams in regular-season finale
Published 10:22 pm, Monday, May 21, 2012
WESTPORT -- The Staples boys tennis team proved it's a battle-tested team Thursday.
Staples won three 3-setters, clinching the second seed in the FCIAC tournament with a 5-2 home win over New Canaan Thursday, raising its record to 17-1, 15-1 in the FCIAC. New Canaan dropped to 15-3, 13-3 and will be the fourth seed.
"It was definitely a battle," Wreckers coach Kris Hrisovulos said. "One thing I discussed with the boys before the match is that New Canaan is one of the best teams in terms of fighting and believing they can win every match they play in. The key going in was being able to fight back. We knew they were able to present us a fight and we fought back."
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Based on the early returns, it looked as if the Rams could pull off the upset. New Canaan clinched the first two points with Will Burger winning 6-1, 6-3 at second singles over Graham Hyman and Tommy Worcester coming close to perfection in a 6-0, 6-1 victory at third singles over Josh Moscovitz. The two matches ended within seconds of each other.
"We have very strong players at second and third singles," Rams coach Dan Borgman said. "Our No. 1 player faces the top players in the FCIAC. My top three singles players are close in talent and it makes sense my No. 2 and No. 3 would win more often."
At No. 1, New Canaan's Nick Laub was locked in a tight match with Jake Hirschberg. Thursday marked the sixth time Laub and Hirschberg squared off in their careers. All six of their matches has gone three sets and this was no exception.
Hirschberg raised his record to 2-4 against Laub with a 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 victory.
"I came out playing well and made sure I was consistent," Hirschberg said. "I was consistent in the first set, but wasn't able to win the big points in the second set. In the third set, I tried to do what I did in the first set, and I was consistent."
After losing the second set, Hirschberg adjusted his game plan.
"I sliced it more and tried to keep it away from his forehand," Hirschberg said. "Personally, it's a good win, but it's a better team win. They challenged us throughout the match."
His win was Staples' second point of the day. Jack Reardon delivered the Wreckers' first point with a win at fifth singles.
"The biggest turning point of the match was Hirschberg's match, it was a big momentum-changer," Hrisovulos said. "It was a big win for Jake because of his past matches with Nick."
Staples rebounded from second-set losses at fourth singles and first doubles as well.
"We have to be more mentally tough," Borgman said. "In the third set, we have to continue to do what we did right and correct what we did wrong."
STAPLES 5, NEW CANAAN 2
Singles: Jake Hirschberg (S) def. Nick Laub 6-1, 2-6, 6-1; Will Burger (NC) def. Graham Hyman 6-1 6-3; Tommy Worcester (NC) def. Josh Moskovitz 6-0, 6-1; Connor Mitnick (S) def. Devin McVeigh 6-2, 2-6, 6-2: Jack Reardon (S) def. Tim Casavant 7-5, 6-2. Doubles: Steve Thomson/Zack Levin (S) def. Patrick Newton/Jacob Reiss 7-5, 2-6, 6-3; Evan Davis/Baxter Stein (S) def. Luke McDermott/Andrew Penchuk 6-3, 6-0.
Records: New Canaan 15-3, 13-3 in the FCIAC, Staples 17-1, 15-1.