Young Huskies team enjoys a solid season

first_img BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer Matawan High School boys tennis team is looking for a strong showing over its last five matches to help carry it into next season. Coach Paul Pacifico’s youthful team is 5-10, but there are plenty of promising players on board, including five freshmen, one of whom, Dab Michelin, who plays third singles, leads the team with 10 wins. “We knew going in that this would be a rebuilding year, so I’m pleased with our progress,” Pacifico said. “We’re also in a tough conference, so our guys are adjusting to varsity play against some very good competition.” Pacifico noted that his two captains, seniors Chris Brady and Heseyin Tunceroglu, who play at first and second singles, respectively, have worked well with the younger players and have proven to be good leaders on and off the court. Both Brady and Tunceroglu have earned academic scholarships, with Brady attending Wake Forest, while Tunceroglu will attend New York University. Juniors Jon Strauss and Mike Lewandowski played well together at first doubles. Lewandowski, a lefty, showed plenty of grit playing despite a broken right wrist. Hardworking Austin Chang and Nick Barrett, an unorthodox newcomer who finds ways to win points, are at second doubles where they have shown much promise, Pacifico said. Two other freshmen, Vincent Ruggerio and Thomas Incorvaia, will also be heard from in the future. Pacifico said both players have worked long hours, regularly staying long after practice officially ends, to work on their skills. “It’s truly a pleasure for a coach when you get a team like this,” Pacifico said. “They’re struggling a bit on the court, but they’re young and they’re getting better every day. And, more important, it’s a great group of kids.” Notes … Although the Huskies did not qualify for the state tournament, several local teams did, and will be in action this week as they start their respective chases for sectional titles. In the North II Group III section, the Holmdel Hornets looked to bounce back from their SCT semifinal loss to Marlboro when they took on Emerson yesterday in a quarterfinal match. The Hornets are the third seed in this bracket, which is headed by Millburn and Livingston. The CBA Colts are the second seed in the Non-Public South A bracket, and as such, received a first-round matchup with St. John Vianney, a team that enjoyed tremendous success this season. CBA advanced with a 5-0 win, and now awaits the winner of the Monsignor Donovan-Bishop Ahr quarterfinal matchup, which was scheduled for yesterday. As for Vianney, they’ve come a long way from last year’s 0-14 team, and deserve all the credit in the world for turning around a program which has struggled to win a match in the past, much less qualify for the state tournament. The Raritan Rockets are the only other local team in the state playoff picture, as the seventh seed in the CJ Group II bracket. Raritan was scheduled to take on second-seeded Delran yesterday, with the winner to get either Rumson-Fair Haven (seeded third and the defending sectional champ) or A.L. Johnson. BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *