Staples spring preview: Boys tennis out to defend titles
Updated 11:22 am, Thursday, April 2, 2015
It's impossible to improve on perfection.
The only thing left to do for the Staples boys tennis team is to try to repeat last year's remarkable 21-0 run to the FCIAC and Class LL championships. It's a goal that seems lofty until you glance at the sparkling record the Wreckers own over the past decade.
It will be a new-look group in 2015, but one that's still capable of attaining both accolades.
"What's good about this year is that the guys that are retuning are antsy to repeat," said coach Kris Hrisovulos, who has a 95-6 record in five years with the team and also starred for the Wreckers as a player in the late 1990s. "You can't do much better; to repeat would be amazing. It would go a long way for the (returnees); they have the drive and focus to defend those titles."
Staples lost seven seniors to graduation, including State Open finalist Luke Foreman and Class LL champions and State Open semifinalists Baxter Stein and Connor Mitnick. Jason Chaskin, Sterling Price and Jack Reardon also graduated.
In fact, the Wreckers don't return a single player that played doubles last year.
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"I think we'll be prepared, we might have some bumps in the road in terms of figuring out our doubles teams, but as long as we're prepared I think we'll be in good shape," Hrisovulos said.
Seniors Zack Levin (Franklin & Marshall) and Josh Moskovitz (Haverford) will be the top singles players for the Wreckers this spring. Sophomore Max Zimmerman clinched several crucial matches last season and will be in the lineup again, and junior Will Andrews will also play singles.
Moskovitz is coming off an abbreviated season as a result of stress fracture in his L4 vertebrae in the summer of 2013. He wasn't able to return to action until March 2014 and has worked hard since with the goal of helping the team this spring.
"I didn't play as big of a role (last season) as I wanted to," Moskovitz said. "I feel like this year my level is definitely back and improved. I'm definitely ready to show what I can do and help out the team as best as I can."
Staples gets archrival Greenwich April 9 in a massive early-season test. The teams have combined to win the last four FCIAC titles and are the heavy favorites to do so again. The Wreckers host Ridgefield in a rematch of the FCIAC championship match May 7.
"It's the first time in the years I've been here that we've played (Greenwich) so early," Hrisovulos said. "It will keep us engaged right off the bat; they return a lot of guys and they will return with a chip on their shoulder."
Without as much senior leadership as 2014, the Wreckers believe they possess enough talent to earn back-to-back FCIAC titles for the first time since 2000-01.
"I do feel like we have the talent," Moskovitz said. "With the new guys coming in will definitely be helpful. We don't have as much senior leadership because (losing) seven guys is a lot, but I feel like it's just talent without the experience."