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Almost Enough: Hanover Boys Tennis Misses Upset of Bedford

  • Lincoln Adam

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 5/25/2018 12:16:21 AM
Modified: 5/25/2018 12:16:34 AM

Bedford, n.h. — The Bedford High boys tennis team isn’t ready to concede its dynasty just yet.

The Bulldogs will compete for a ninth consecutive NHIAA championship after edging visiting Hanover in Thursday’s Division I semifinal, 5-4.

No. 2 Bedford (15-1) has won the last five D-I titles after three straight championships in Division II. It had won 110 consecutive matches, including playoffs, before Pinkerton’s 5-4 win in Derry, N.H., on May 16.

The No. 3 Marauders (14-2) came up just short in seeking their first title-game appearance since winning the D-II crown five years ago. Hanover had won 14 straight matches since a 7-2 setback against the Bulldogs in the season opener in Bedford.

“They’re a really well-trained team that doesn’t make many mistakes,” said Hanover coach Jarrod Sheehan of the Bulldogs. “We left it all on the court against them today, and that’s all you can ask. We’re not leaving here disappointed. I’m super proud of this group. Every time we play them, we get closer.”

Hanover claimed three matches that were Bedford wins in the first meeting, including a pair of direct rematches.

Bedford won the top three singles positions. Undefeated Ro Yerram bettered Hanover senior Matty Siegel, 8-1, Jason Boucher bested Aidan Biglow, 8-3, and Zach Suozzo edged Jasper Meyer, 8-4.

At No. 4, Marauder senior Lincoln Adam avenged an 8-2 loss to Tyler Whitney in the season opener, rallying from a 3-1 deficit Thursday to beat Whitney, 8-6.

“I just tried to be a little more aggressive,” said Adam. “It was a close match, but I was able to stay consistent.”

It was Bedford reversing things at No. 5 singles, the Bulldogs’ Jared Steinberg emerging for an 8-6 win in a back-and-forth match against Hanover’s Trevor Siegel.

Siegel had beaten Steinberg in April, 8-3.

“I actually love playing against Jared, because he’s a great guy and just has a really optimistic presence on the court,” Siegel said. “He has really good court awareness and returns and made some great shots today.”

Will Tarnowski prevented Bedford from clinching the match during singles play with an 8-5 win over Nick Bayer at No. 6. Bayer had knocked off Will Blinkhorn in the teams’ first meeting.

“(Tarnowski) was able to climb into the No. 6 slot during the challenge match process, and he has really improved this year,” said Sheehan. “When you have a team as deep and as talented as we have, some shifting is inevitable.

“Will played a great match (against Bayer), and that’s the first time we’ve faced Bedford (since I started coaching) that we were still alive going into doubles.”

The Marauders would have needed a sweep in the three doubles matches to advance, but Yerram and Boucher put an end to that possibility quickly with an 8-0 victory over Biglow and Meyer at No. 1.

Yerram — who may attempt to walk on at the University of Connecticut next year — is undefeated at both singles and doubles this season.

Hanover brothers Matty and Trevor Siegel had a triumphant final team-format match together at No. 2 doubles, reversing a loss against Bedford’s Suozzo and Whitney in the opener to win, 8-3, on Thursday.

The result left Trevor Siegel, a sophomore, emotional after the match. Matty Siegel is a senior and bound for Tufts University in the fall.

“I just realized after the last point, that he’s going off to college and that’s the last time I’ll play with him in this type of setting, with everyone here,” a teary-eyed Trevor Siegel said. “It’s something I always wanted to do. Especially after last year, when I didn’t make varsity, I worked really hard so I could play with him this year. Not everyone gets to do that, and it was a real privilege to play with him.”

Sheehan has enjoyed watching the brothers’ chemistry and on-court bonding develop throughout the season.

“It was really special, to see them go out on top today,” the coach said. “The best part is, they still have the (NHIAA doubles) tournament to play together, and I expect them to do very well.”

Adam and Blinkhorn combined for an 8-1 win over Steinberg and Bohdan Higley, giving Hanover two of the three doubles matches.

It was enough to impress Bedford coach Shawna Morley, who’s overseen all eight of Bedford’s titles.

“It was a really tough match. We knew they would be better, but we did just enough.” said Morley, a former basketball player at NCAA Division I Marist University in upstate New York. “These teams have a lot of respect for each other.”

Hanover graduates three of its top four singles players in Matty Siegel, Meyer and Adam, but Sheehan expects another strong unit in 2019.

“Our future is really bright,” he said.

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

 

 




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