TENNIS Brunswick finishes at the head of the class again
After winning the NEITA-NEPSAC Class B title last season, the Brunswick School tennis team moved up to Class A this spring.
And once again, the Bruins finished at the head of their class.
A 4-1 victory against host Groton School in Groton, Mass., on Sunday gave Brunswick the New England Interscholastic Tennis Association-NEPSAC Class A championship.
The triumph, which resulted in another winner’s trophy capped an impressive 15-2 season for Brunswick.
“At the beginning of the season, I told the team that we are not thinking about a perfect record this year,” Brunswick coach Ryan Abraham said. “We lost two matches, but I kept telling the guys that we are aiming to peak at New Englands. We would learn how to adapt and use every match as experience toward on goal — winning New Englands.”
The Bruins certainly peaked at the right time, winning their quarterfinal, semifinal and championship matches in convincing fashion against formidable foes at the NEPSAC Class A tourney.
In the championship match against Groton, Brunswick earned the doubles point by winning all three doubles matches. The duo of freshman Evan Lee and senior co-captain Ben Powis posted an 8-1 win against Groton’s Gabe Scholl/Aaron Jin at second doubles.
“They played an outstanding match and just dominated,” Abraham said. “Because our top four singles players are so evenly matched, when they play doubles we are so strong at one, two and three.”
First doubles saw junior co-captain Ryan Glanville and sophomore Aidan Reilly of Brunswick edge Matt Kandel/Powers Trigg 9-8 (7-4 tiebreaker).
“Their doubles team was strong and it was very tough to break their serve,” Abraham said of Groton’s doubles squad. “Ryan and Aidan were serving and volleying well. They played a great match against a very good doubles team.”
At the third doubles spot, Jared Gura and Ben Jones of Groton were victorious against Lorenzo Gunningham and Edward Nagler, 8-6. Brunswick however, won the doubles point by taking two of the three doubles matches.
Four of the six singles matches were completed with Brunswick winning three of the matchups, giving the team a 4-1 win.
Glanville was a 6-2, 6-0 winner for the Bruins at second singles against Andrew Yang at the No. 2 position. Reilly beat Trigg, 6-0, 6-3 and Lee clinched the match for the Bruins, topping Gabe Scholl, 6-3, 6-0.
“Our two, three and four singles were just dominant,” Abraham said. “The came out and played some of the best tennis they’ve played this season.”
The Bruins advance to the championship match by avenging a regular season loss against Cheshire Academy in Saturday’s semifinals. Brunswick eliminated Cheshire Academy, dealing one of its rivals, 4-2.
“Our team was pumped and revved up after that win against Cheshire Academy,” Abraham said. “But we were not taking anything for granted going into the finals. We knew we had to still be mentally ready.”
Also on Saturday, the Bruins notched a 4-1 win against Deerfield in the NEPSAC quarterfinals. Prior to winning the NEPSAC Class A title, the Bruins also won the FAA championship for the fourth straight season. One of the Bruins’ stiffest challenges came from rival Rye Country Day School. Brunswick kept its perfect FAA record intact with a 4-3 triumph.
“Winning the FAA title and beating Rye Country Day, you can see everyone on the team getting better and better,” Abraham said. “Going into the New England tournament, I liked the fact that we were not the favorite.”
The also looks bright for the Bruins, who will return most of their lineup. Powis, who will graduate this week, will take his tennis skills to Colby College.
“I’m very proud of our team,” Abraham said. “You could see the raw talent was there at the beginning of the season. There was just a lot of mental growth on the court that had to take place. It was good to see our freshmen and younger players improve and they still have a lot of experience to gain over the next few years. The big piece of the puzzle this year was the growth in everyone’s mental game. As a result, everything went according to play, which doesn’t always happen.”