Hanover Boys Tennis Back to Business

Manchester — The freshman phenom who held down the No. 1 singles position last spring is headed to a tennis academy. Another anticipated returnee opted for prep school. And of the six players to make up the singles ladder to open the season, only one saw time in 2013.

Thursday’s season-opening tennis result? Hanover 9, Trinity 0. To quote the Talking Heads: Same as it ever was.

Led by sole returnee Henry Pletcher, the Marauders (1-0) picked up the beat with which they drummed New Hampshire Division II most of last year in a sweep of the Pioneers at Derryfield Park. Pletcher earned an 8-2 win at first singles, with Graham Dickson, Jeffrey Li, Richard Qiu, Miles Campbell and Isaac Davis also cruising in their singles dates.

Hanover earned 8-0 wins at first (Pletcher-Dickson) and second doubles (Li-Qiu), and Davis teamed up with Benny Gantrish for an 8-4 verdict at No. 3.

The win gave the Marauders a good start to their defense of last spring’s NHIAA D-II state title, the program’s sixth in 10 years and first since 2009. It also reflected last year in another fashion: Hanover shut out 15 of its 17 foes during its undefeated run to the championship.

They’ll try for a repeat having lost freshman No. 1 Kotaro Horiuchi, who went 17-0 and won the state individual title last year, as well as sophomore Jackson Greenspan, who enrolled at Kimball Union Academy after holding down the No. 5 spot in the singles ladder much of last season.

Hanover is off until an April 21 home date with Lebanon.

Rutland 6, Hartford 1

Rutland — Loriston Fennell took his second singles win as many starts, but it proved to be the only point for Hartford (0-2).

Fennell, who picked up a victory in the Hurricanes’ season-opener with Fair Haven earlier in the week, rallied from a first-set defeat to top the Raiders’ Patrick Salisbury-Jennings, 4-6, 6-4, 10-7.

“One of his best attributes is he’s patient,” Hartford coach Joe Denny said. “He stays positive. After dropping the first set, he didn’t get down on himself. He stayed positive and was able to come back and take it.”

Hartford is off for spring break next week, with its next match at Fair Haven on April 21.

Girls Tennis

Wilton-Lyndeborough 7, Kearsarge 2

North Sutton, n.h. — The Cougars (0-2) won two singles contests and came close in two other matches.

Gillian Shannon earned an 8-6 win at fourth singles over Wilton’s Naomi Wight and Elise Paquette was an 8-3 victor at No. 6 over Madison Crawford for Kearsarge’s points. The Cougars’ Sabrina Duquette had a pair of near-misses, falling 8-6 at second singles and dropping an 8-7 tiebreaker decision at first doubles with partner Kathleen Kowalski.

Kearsarge is back in action at Conant this afternoon.