NORTHBORO – Three years removed from a CMass. District title, the Trojans boys’ tennis team wanted the 2013 hardware — and they wanted it badly. Bromfield defeated Whitinsville Christian 4-1 in the finals of the MIAA Division 3 District Tournament Thursday afternoon at Algonquin Regional.
Bromfield head coach Ryan Venditti said that playing teams like Sutton and Nashoba, en route to finals helped prepare his team.
“We have been close the last two years,” said Venditti. “This year we felt with having six out of the seven starters as seniors, that we really needed to get an extra push at the end. Winning it has been a goal of ours all year. It is definitely very rewarding.”
The second doubles tandem of sophomore Dan Poustovalov and senior Charlie Friedrich, locked up the afternoon’s first team point by cruising to a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Whitinsville Christian’s Michael Dunlap and Jake Chapman. Poustovalov and Friedrich trailed after the first match, but the pair weathered the storm and locked up the win.
“Part of it is getting used to their serve and getting into a rhythm,” said Friedrich on the in-match adjustments, he and his partner made. “We lost the first game, but the second game was tight. We basically went on a roll from there. We started making good shots, put away our volleys and didn’t make many mistakes.”
Senior captain Drew Banker secured the second team point with his 6-3,6-3 victory in number one singles play over eighth grader Ben Koopman. Banker and Koopman experienced an eight-shot exchange in the final set.
Banker credited his opponent for his heart and tough play.
“I came into this match a little too lazy,” said Banker. “I was too relaxed in the first few games, and he kind of took advantage of that. He was making some big forehands and winners all over the place. I wasn’t really in a rhythm, and he was totally tearing me apart, when I hit the service wrong. He is going to be great.”
Bromfield’s first doubles team has been solid all season, and the trend continued Thursday. Seniors Lucas Hickok and Nick Hildreth, overcame a sluggish start to topple Isaac Bates and Josh Cook, 6-3,7-5 and seize the Division 3 CMass. crown.
Hickok admitted that he and Hildreth were nervous going into the match, with the possible end to their high school tennis careers looming.
“We were a little nervous at the beginning there, “said Hickok. “We are really good at communicating with each other and that allows us to shake off what we are doing wrong. We knew we could beat them and wanted to have a strong feeling going into states.”
With the championship already decided, senior captain Kevin Sun’s 6-3, 6-3 win over Whitinsvile Christian’s Micah Curtis in the number three spot was merely a competitive exhibition. Sun utilized his fleet feet and athleticism to return nearly unreachable shots from Curtis.
Owen Brookhouse helped the Crusaders avoid the shutout with a 6-4, 6-4 win over senior Jayme Davis in number two singles. Davis battled valiantly, but was unable to weather the storm of hard-shots Brookhouse was dealing.
Venditti said that the Trojans’ tough road to the Division 3 CMass. finals made them stronger.
“It feels great,” said Venditti on winning the title. “If you can build momentum, it will make you a tougher, stronger team. Even though we were close in both matches, it has made us better.”
Bromfield now turns its attention to the State Tournament, when they travel to West Springfield High School to face Mt. Greylock, Monday at 4 p.m. The Trojans move to 16-1 on the season.