With three regular starters sidelined, Staples High coach Kris Hrisovulos reminded his players that they needed to step up in Friday's match at Weston.
And to Hrisovulos' delight, they did exactly that.
Spurred on by a sweep at doubles, Staples' boys tennis team moved to 13-0 on the season with a 5-2 triumph over the Trojans.
"I told the boys that everyone's going to have to step up today in different roles and just a different look," the Wreckers' coach said. "I knew (the Trojans) were going to be tough. I was pleased with what I saw."
Without its No. 1 and No. 4 singles players, and part of its No. 1 doubles team, Staples persevered, despite a challenge from Weston (12-2).
"I was pleased to see that all of our doubles teams came through in some competitive matches," Hrisovulos said. "My top two guys held their own."
One of the afternoon's more competitive matches came at No. 2 doubles, as Staples' Jared Eisenberg and Jason Chaskin topped Eric Nalbandian and Ben Lander 7-5, 7-6 (4). The Wreckers' No. 3 tandem of Sterling Price and Max Berger won 6-2, 6-3.
Weston, which came into play undefeated in the South-West Conference, picked up a pair of wins at the last two singles spots. At No. 3 singles, Jack Lawless beat Staples' Charles Sonenclar 6-1, 6-1. The Trojans' Jon Lipsitz won at No. 4, edging Joey Schulman 6-2, 6-4.
Weston coach Gary Meunier said that Lawless and Lipsitz play with different styles, but the two have been equally effective this season.
"Jack just comes at you, and he executed very well," Meunier said. "Jon would make anybody quit the game. He's just got that steady offspeed stuff. He's the equivalent of a knuckleballer in baseball. His game is attrition."
Staples' Zack Levin stepped up to No. 1 singles in place of Jake Hirschberg and topped Oscar Morris 7-5, 6-3. Levin, who has played at either the No. 2 or No. 3 spot this season, rallied after falling behind 5-3 in the first set.
"I changed pace and sliced (the ball) a little more," Levin said. "I just tried to stay as consistent as I could and cut down my errors."
Hrisovulos praised Levin for rallying, noting that it's been a characteristic of this season's team.
"One thing about him and about this whole team this year is they've been so resilient," the coach said. "When the going gets tough, they kind of go into tunnel vision."
At No. 2 singles, the Wreckers' Josh Moskovitz beat David Freeman 6-2, 6-4.
Staples will face perhaps its toughest test of the season on Monday when it hosts 11-0 Greenwich at 4 p.m.
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Staples 5, Weston 2 (at Weston): Singles -- Zack Levin (S) def. Oscar Morris 7-5, 6-3; Josh Moskovitz def. David Freeman 6-2, 6-4; Jack Lawless (W) def. Charles Sonenclar 6-1, 6-4; Jon Lipsitz (W) def. Joey Schulman 6-2, 6-4. Doubles -- Connor Mitnick/Baxter Stein (S) def. Henry Morris/Greg Portner 6-2, 6-3; Jared Eisenberg/Jason Chaskin (S) def. Eric Nalbandian/Ben Lander 7-5, 7-6 (4); Sterling Price/Max Berger (S) def. Jordan Suss/Ishan Mirchandani 6-2, 6-3. Records: Staples 13-0; Weston 12-2.