Staples cruises into FCIAC boys tennis semifinals
Updated 3:22 pm, Thursday, May 28, 2015
The Staples boys tennis team's march towards an undefeated season may have included a close call or two, but those have been few and far between. Mostly, the Wreckers have demolished opponents with sweeps and superior depth.
That pattern continued on Thursday as the No. 1 Wreckers extended their match-winning streak to 40 dating back to last year with a 4-1 win over No. 8 Wilton (9-8) in the FCIAC quarterfinals.
Staples then defeated Ludlowe in the FCIAC final for a fourth straight season. The Wreckers met Greenwich at Wilton on Thursday for the title after press time.
The top four singles players earned straight set victories against Wilton for Staples (20-0), which claimed the FCIAC and Class LL titles a year ago. The streak has served as motivation among the Wreckers to keep it alive amidst the postseason charge.
"We had a great regular season, but now that we're in the playoffs and it's one loss and you're out," said Staples junior Will Andrews, who beat Wilton's Ian Erickson 6-3, 6-1. "What we did during the regular season doesn't really matter. We have to do everything we can these matches as opposed to what we've done before."
Twenty-three of the 40 wins have come via sweep, but that wasn't the case Thursday as Wilton's Jordan Lord and Ryan Black defeated Max Berger and Brenden Price 6-2, 6-1. Other than that, it was another dominating performance.
At No. 1 singles Wreckers senior Zack Levin beat Gerrit Galliard 6-1, 6-4, while Josh Moskovitz defeated Quentin Thouvenot 6-0, 6-1 at No. 3. Sophomore Max Zimmerman earned a win at No. 4 singles for Staples, seeing off Wilton's Timothy Sullivan 6-1, 6-2.
The other two matches were halted as the Wreckers had sealed their progress to the next round.
Andrews was pleased with the outcome of his match following a slow start.
"It was a bit of a slow start, but as soon as I got into a groove I was playing well," Andrews said. "(Erickson) is a good player who makes a lot of balls; the atmosphere really helps when everyone is cheering for you."
Staples finished the regular season with a busy stretch that included matches in five straight days, including a 5-2 win over SWC-champion Weston last Friday that served as a wakeup call prior to the postseason.
"We were a little bit lulled with our preparation (against Weston)," Staples coach Kris Hrisovulos said. "We took blame for it out after the match; now the playoffs are ahead of us, the mindset is right."
Hrisovulos has warned his team about the traps of the postseason. Staples has only won one FCIAC title -- last season's -- in four undefeated regular seasons that Hrisovulos has been in charge.
"They know how difficult it is," Hrisovulos said. "It just speaks volumes to the strength of the conference. Everyone will want a second chance at us; as long as we're prepared we will be alright."
The depth of the FCIAC will test the Wreckers, but knocking them off may prove difficult.
STAPLES 5, WILTON 2 (at Staples): Singles: Zack Levin (S) def. Gerrit Galliard, 6-1, 6-4; Will Andrews (S) def. Ian Erickson, 6-3, 6-1; Josh Moskovitz (S) def. Quentin Thouvenot, 6-0, 6-1; Max Zimmerman (S) def. Timothy Sullivan 6-1, 6-2. Doubles: Jordan Lord/Ryan Black (W) def. Brenden Price/Max Berger, 6-2, 6-1. Records: Wilton 9-8; Staples 19-0.