Staples tops Greenwich to repeat as FCIAC boys tennis champions
While players and spectators were sitting in their cars waiting out a lightning delay in the FCAIC boys tennis final at Wilton High School, Staples coach Kris Hrisovulos paced around the parking lot hoping the weather would clear.
With the Wreckers already up 3-0 against Greenwich, the title was clearly within sight. But the skies soon opened up and the ensuing rain forced the match to be resumed indoors at Intensity Tennis Club in Norwalk, where Hrisovulos is a director.
His team would have to wait another two hours to celebrate, but it was well worth the delay as the Staples clinched the match and the FCIAC title with a 4-0 win over the Cardinals. The championship was a second straight and the win extended an unbeaten run to 42 matches dating back to the beginning of last year.
"It speaks to these boys who continue to build the good habits," Hrisovulos said. "Everyone knows the talent and depth year in and year out at Staples is always there. To get over the hump we had to stick to good habits and discipline of dealing with the competition."
It took Staples 45 minutes to take the commanding 3-0 lead as Josh Moskovitz, Will Andrews and Max Zimmerman all won in straight sets, but one lightning strike after another came before a torrential downpour that resulted in the site change. The match resumed 90 minutes after the delay began, and a half hour later Zack Levin bested Greenwich's Marcos Eslava at No. 1 singles 6-3, 6-3 to seal the championship.
Moskovitz, who defeated Jacob Cohen 6-0, 6-0, immediately set the tone for the Wreckers, according to Hrisovulos. Moskovitz missed most of last season with a back injury and put his stamp on his senior year with a victory in the biggest match of the season.
"From start to finish he's been amazing this year," Hrisovulos said. "He's prepared and his actions have been leading to our younger kids. I've worked with him privately since he was 11 years old, and to see him grow has been something special."
The Cardinals, who defeated New Canaan in the semifinals to make it to Wilton, had their 11-match winning streak snapped.
"They played with a tremendous amount of enthusiasm," Greenwich coach Richard Lane said of his team. "I don't think a lot of people expected us making it here with the difficulties we've had. This was a huge accomplishment; to that degree I'm proud of them for playing with such confidence."
Both teams will compete in the Class LL tournament, which begins Saturday. Each team will send four singles and three doubles teams compared to the five and two used during the FCIAC season.
"The 4-and-3 format suits us well; we have an incredibly deep team," said Lane, who added that the regular season should be played under that format "I believe strongly, I believe it gets more kids involved in the program; doubles is more of a team sport with four kids on the court working together."
FCIAC BOYS TENNIS FINAL
STAPLES 4, GREENWICH 0 (at Wilton High School, Intensity Tennis Club): Singles: Zack Levin def. Marcos Eslava 6-3, 6-3; Will Andrews (S) def. Henry Decoster 6-4, 6-1; Josh Moskovitz def. Jacob Cohen 6-0, 6-0; Max Zimmerman (S) def. Henry Lewis 6-1, 6-1. Records: Greenwich 15-4; Staples 21-0.