One day after registering a hard-fought victory against rival Darien, the Greenwich High School boys tennis team was right back in action today, testing its skills against another challenging FCIAC foe in the form of Ridgefield.
And once again, the Cardinals emerged victorious.
Greenwich impressively passed its latest test, posting a 6-1 win over visiting Ridgefield to move its record to a perfect 9-0. The Cardinals won three of the four singles matches and swept the three doubles matches on their way to another triumph.
Among Greenwich’s wins so far this season was a 4-3 decision over Darien on Wednesday and a 4-3 victory against rival Staples on April 20.
“It’s been an unbelievable year so far, probably the best we’ve had in a long time,” said Cardinals senior Dylan Atkinson, who plays at the No. 1 singles spot. “The win over Staples, that gave us a lot of momentum going into Darien, which was also another unbelievable win. It’s so fun and the team is so enjoyable this year. There is so much energy and it’s very enjoyable with these guys.”
Atkinson won the deciding match against Darien at first singles on Wednesday, giving GHS a 4-2 triumph.
“It was unbelievable,” Atkinson said of the Darien match. “We had very high hopes going into the match, but the day before we played them they beat Staples. The 4-3 win at the very end when I finished it, it gave the team so much momentum going into the next seven matches. Today we felt very confident.”
In today’s match against Ridgefield at No. 1 singles, Atkinson recorded a 6-2, 6-4 win against Tigers senior Trevor Girandola.
“I went into it a little tired from yesterday’s match, it was a little over two hours,” Atkinson said. “I just wanted to stay solid and see what he had in the beginning and tried to make my shots and played smart. I thought I served pretty well and I’m just happy I pulled through at the end.”
Ridgefield’s victory came at second singles, which was the final match finished. In a match featuring a wealth of long rallies, sophomore Caleb Pajak was a 6-1, 6-4 winner against Greenwich senior Yuta Kawamura.
At third singles, Cardinals junior David Karetsky topped senior Jack McGuire, 6-1, 6-2 and at the fourth singles spot, freshman Alex Salib won in straight sets, 6-2, 6-3.
“Everyone pulled through, we played unbelievable, we kept our heads in it and I’m super proud of them,” Atkinson said.
Again leading the way at No. 1 doubles for the Cards were junior Nick O’Brien and senior Cai Jain. O’Brien/Jain edged Ridgefield’s Kyle Song and Alexander Prokopczyk, 6-3, 6-7 (4), 11-9, in one of the day’s most competitive matches.
The Cardinals’ top doubles duo have exhibited consistent, efficient play throughout the season, while being instrumental in the squad’s great success.
“We definitely had some close matches some big surprises, beating Staples and Darien,” O’Brien said. “I think Ray (Marschall) brought it up that now we have a big target on our back.”
Said Jain: “We are the only undefeated team in the FCIAC. We’ve already established a good lineup and set on it and we are confident going into states.”
Sophomore Tristan Sowter and freshman Manuel Galli Specos were 6-2, 6-2 winners at No. 2 doubles, while Isaiah Sohn, a senior and Zach Toback, a junior, won their match, 6-4, 6-2, at third doubles for GHS.
Greenwich plays Bridgeport Central, Danbury and Westhill next week.
“Practicing in the rain a few days ago, we are out there trying to get better and working every day and it’s showing in our record,” Jain said.