Boys' Tennis Bounces Back After Season-Opening Loss

The Generals boys' tennis team let one slip away against a tough Pentucket team to open the season, but won handily against Triton and Manchester-Essex.

If high school athletes can learn from a loss, then sometimes it is not such a bad thing.

Even though the boys' tennis team (2-1) dropped a heartbreaker in its season-opening , the squad righted the ship the very next day with a resounding victory over .

The loss broke a 40 match Cape Ann League win streak for the Generals.

Coach Joe Maher felt that in many of the team’s five matches in the 3-2 loss at Pentucket on April 11 his players weren’t taking the play to their opponents. Instead, the other team was deciding the style and the Generals were not able to take control.

“You’ll see momentum swings from time to time (in matches),” said Maher. “In a couple of the matches we didn’t control the momentum; we didn’t control the action. We let the other team dictate the style of play. It is definitely something we can learn from.”

On April 12 the Generals won easily, 5-0 over Triton.

“We looked at the (Triton) match as a chance to get back on track and work on (carrying momentum) we didn’t do well the previous day,” Maher said.

Against Pentucket - one of the top teams in the Cape Ann League - Maher’s squad could have easily turned the 3-2 loss in their favor as four of the five matches went to three sets.

For the Generals’ points, Trip McLane won 6-2, 6-4 at No. 3 singles, and the No. 2 doubles team of Brian Rodgers and Joey Merrill eked out a 5-7, 6-4, 6-3 win.

First singles player Stuart Rowe had the difficult task of facing one of the top players in the league, resulting in three-set match. He appeared to have the momentum on his side when he captured the second set to force a third, but he couldn’t pull it out.

“That was a great match for Stuart,” Maher said. “But the Pentucket player got off to a fast start in the third set.’

Jack Lebel, at No. 2 singles, lost his momentum when he dropped the second set after a first-set win.

Chris Young and Spencer Collins, at No. 1 doubles, got off to a quick start with a 4-1 first-set lead. However they relinquished it and needed a tiebreaker to capture the set. They then lost close second and third sets.

“We didn’t play our most aggressive tennis,” Maher said. “I think that is something the kids learned. (They) have to play to win, not to lose.”

All the same positions – Rowe, Lebel, McLane at singles, and the teams of Young and Collins and Rodgers and Merrill – all won in straight sets against a young Triton contingent.

On Monday, the team beat Manchester-Essex on the road at Manchester Athletic Club 5-0 in a non-league win.

The Generals are on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.


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