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A Sibling Serve: Hanover Brothers Make Connection on the Court

  • Hanover's Jasper Meyer returns a hit during a match with Bishop Guertin in Hanover, N.H., on May 17, 2018. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Trevor Siegel, left, looks at his brother Matty Siegel during their doubles match with Bishop Guertin in Hanover, N.H., on May 17, 2018. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

  • Hanover's Gary Li returns keeps an eye on the ball during a match with Bishop Guertin in Hanover, N.H., on May 17, 2018. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.



Valley News Staff Writer
Thursday, May 17, 2018

 

Hanover — Trevor Siegel doesn’t mind sitting a bit behind older brother Matty on the Hanover High boys tennis team’s depth chart. In fact, he relishes it.

Trevor, a sophomore and amateur actor who once played a minor character named Si Crowell in Our Town, knows it takes all kinds of roles to make a production complete — be it on the stage or the court.

“Even with tennis, I think the side characters are very important,” said Trevor, who performs with Northern Stage’s Youth Ensemble Studio and elsewhere. “There are no small contributions, only small actors.”

Both Siegel brothers are a big part of a resurgence for the Marauders, winners of 12 straight after Thursday’s 7-2 win over Bishop Guertin at Storrs Pond Recreation Area. Matty, a senior, is now 10-3 in the No. 1 singles spot and Trevor is 10-0 at No. 5 singles.

Sons of a tennis-loving mom, Lori, the brothers have both been playing since they were toddlers and have spent this year as Hanover’s No. 2 doubles tandem. The pair is 10-1 following Thursday’s 8-2 win over Bishop Guertin’s Chris Wang and Graham Diack.

“They complement each other so well,” said Lori Siegel, a former high school standout in Providence, R.I., who said her love for the game resurfaced once her boys started playing. “When I first found out they were going to be doubles partners, I wouldn’t say I was anxious, but I thought it could be … interesting, because brothers are brothers. But they have been amazing teammates.”

If any sibling rivalry exists between Matty and Trevor, it’s nowhere to be found on the court. Communication is strong, they set each other up for points during volleys and — in a bonding maneuver Matty once learned at a tennis camp — they slap hands between each point, win or lose.

“I really enjoy that, because it’s kind of like hitting the reset button,” Trevor said. “Whether you just made an awesome play or really messed up, it’s ‘next point.’ ”

The pair have different mental approaches to the game: Matty is supremely focused, Trevor the more enthusiastic type. When Matty overshot the end line on a volley on Thursday, he chided himself out loud: “Ugh, what are you doing?”

Trevor was there in an instant to console. “Don’t worry about it,” he said during the hand slap.

Later in the match, a lengthy back-and-forth ended when Guertin’s Diack slammed a return off the foot of Trevor. The freshman looked like he might have been delivering a line in a play when he advanced to the net toward Diack, saying, “It’s OK, it’s OK” with a gesture of the hand.

“In theater, I’m taught to use my voice, and I kind of bring that to the tennis court,” Trevor said. “I feel like that’s an essential part of the game to form relationships and bonds.”

Matty is glad his younger brother takes the lead in that realm. “I don’t really like to talk very much, so it’s a good dynamic,” he said.

Constantly working to emulate his brother’s technique, Trevor says he absorbs at least one trait or tactic previously foreign to his own game every time they play together. On Thursday, it was taking sharp angles on ground volleys.

Yet it isn’t always the senior who carries play.

“He hits the ball strong to places I can’t,” said Matty, a lefty. “He has a great forehand to the baseline.”

The Siegel brothers have combined for 30 singles and doubles wins for a Hanover team that can lock up the No. 3 seed in NHIAA Division I with a win in the regular season finale today against Concord.

The Marauders (12-1) haven’t lost a match since the season opener at Bedford and had recorded five consecutive 9-0 wins prior to Thursday. Matty Siegel (No. 1; 8-1), senior Lincoln Adam (No. 3; 8-3), sophomore Will Tarnowski (No. 4; 8-1) and sophomore Alec McDevitt (No. 6; 8-5) all had singles wins onThursday in a lineup shuffled to maximize starts by seniors on senior day.

Junior Aidan Biglow, the team’s usual No. 2 singles player, joined senior Jasper Meyer for an 8-5 win at No. 1 doubles, and Adam and Will Blinkhorn controlled an 8-1 win at No. 3 doubles.

There are other capable athletes who didn’t see the court on Thursday, members of a Hanover roster that might be its deepest since the Marauders’ last state championship season in 2013, when it resided in Division II. That was two years prior to the arrival of coach Jarrod Sheehan, a Hanover High Spanish teacher who also coaches the school’s math team.

“From top to bottom, 1 through 11, we’ve got guys who can play,” Sheehan said. “When we made cuts for JV, I told them, ‘Just because you’re playing JV doesn’t mean you’re not a good player, because everyone in this program is a good player.’ ”

While prospects for a deep postseason run appear promising, the Marauders could face stiff competition in Pinkerton, which was 13-0 entering Thursday’s regular season finale against Winnacunnet and handed Bedford (13-1) its first loss on Wednesday. Concord, today’s opponent, and Dover are both 11-2.

“I like our chances because we have the skills to match up with any opponent, and I think we can outlast a lot of Division I players who maybe have less technique, but are strong athletes who can grind it out,” Sheehan said. “We’re confident looking to the playoffs, but we know we’ll need to play our best to win.”

Jared Pendak can be reached at jpendak@vnews.com or 603-727- 3225.

Correction

Trevor Siegel is a sophomore on the Hanover  High boys tennis team. An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified his year in school.