Five matches into the spring season, the Varsity Boys' Tennis team has found themselves in a surprising position: undefeated and sitting atop the Lakes Region standings! While Coach Ted Mastin knew he had all but one player of last year's roster returning, no one expected this type of dominant beginning to the season.
Co-captains Jack LeGwin ('12/Asheville, NC) and Peter Durkin ('12/New London, NH) shared insights into why they believe the team is off to such a strong start. Durkin notes, "One of the biggest surprises for us this season has been the number four through six singles players going undefeated in our first five matches. Will Moss ('13/Los Angeles, CA), Mike Kim ('13/Seoul, Korea), Sam Corman Penzel ('12/Brookline, MA), Justin Pasculano ('14/Needham, MA), and Nigel Tehan ('12/Boxford, MA) have each shown they are capable of winning at those positions." LeGwin added, "Coming into this season we knew that we were going to be deep, but what we have done to date has surprised all of us. Not only have Will, Sam, Justin, Nigel, and Mike gone undefeated at the 4, 5, and 6 spots this season, but they have pulled out some dramatic wins while doing so!" Mastin recounts Pasculano's most recent match versus Holderness where he won the first set 6-0 before losing the second set 0-6 and then trailing 0-4 in the tie-break. Miraculously, Pasculano came back and won the match, demonstrating as Mastin notes, "unflappable nerves."
While the season is still very young, Durkin and LeGwin already recognize some special moments. "The attitude on the team has been very positive and we continue to improve and learn with every match we play," notes Durkin. LeGwin adds, "The guys come out and work every day and that is the dream for a captain. Everyone is ready to play every time they hit the court and that is all we can ask for."
The considerable depth on this year's team has helped outlast opponents. While every team's #1 and #2 players are consistently strong, Vermont Academy's top two players were especially difficult. LeGwin recognizes it was the depth of Proctor's roster that won that match with Vermont, "Both Peter and I did not play to our potential that day and both lost, but the next six guys stepped up and won six straight matches, led by Stephen Harris' ('13/Morristown, NJ) come from behind win, down a set." It has been this type of performance by Hunter Hewig ('13/Marblehead, MA), Stefan Dudley ('14/Redding, CT), Elias Grau ('15/Hamburg, Germany), Nathaniel Herring ('14/Swampscott, MA), and Julian Kasper ('14/Bavaria, Germany) in their respective roles that have given this team so much momentum heading into this weekend's match with Kimball Union Academy.
Looking ahead, the team will continue to rely on every member of the roster to contribute. Durkin notes, "We just played, and beat, a strong Holderness team 5-4 and we face them again in May. But in the meantime, New Hampton is the defending Lakes Region Champion and Cardigan Mountain School is also undefeated early in their season and will provide a real challenge for us." LeGwin adds, "We know we have the majority of our season ahead of us, but we also feel as though we have great chemistry on our team and welcome any challenge that comes our way."
With the Girls' Varsity Tennis team off to a strong start to the season as well, be sure to make a trip to the courts this week to see these teams in action!