Class B boys tennis: Amherst bests Belchertown in battle of champions

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  • Belchertown’s Jackson Couchon returns a lob shot playing No. 1 doubles with Carson Boscher against Amherst during the Western Massachusetts Class B boys tennis final Friday in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Amherst’s Zach Richards volleys a high return against Belcherown’s Trevor Weiss during the Western Massachusetts Class B boys tennis final Friday in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Belchertown’s Carson Boscher volleys a drop shot playing with Jackson Couchon at No. 1 doublduring the Western Massachusetts Class B boys tennis final Friday in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI—

  • Amherst No. 1 doubles player Siddu Sitaraman returns a shot against Belchertown during the Western Massachusetts Class B boys tennis final Friday in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • The Amherst Regional boys tennis team defeated Belchertown 5-0 to win the Western Massachusetts Class B championship Friday in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Belchertown No. 2 singles player Trevor Weiss leaps for a return against Amherst’s Zach Richarduring the Western Massachusetts Class B boys tennis final Friday in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI—

  • Amherst seniors Aengus Cox, left, and Rohan Shenoy receive the Western Massachusetts Class B boys tennis trophy after defeating Belchertown 5-0 on Friday in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Amherst No. 1 doubles player Siddu Sitaraman returns a shot against Belchertown  during the Western Massachusetts Class B boys tennis final Friday in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Belchertown No. 2 singles player Trevor Weiss reaches for a low shot against Amherst’s Zach Richards during the Western Massachusetts Class B boys tennis final Friday in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Amherst No. 2 singles player Zach Richards hits a forehand against Belchertown’s Trevor Weiss during the Western Massachusetts Class B boys tennis final Friday in Amherst. STAFF PHOTO / KYLE GRABOWSKI

Staff Writer
Published: 6/3/2022 9:49:15 PM
Modified: 6/3/2022 9:47:16 PM

AMHERST – The 5-0 scoreline veils how hard the Amherst Regional boys tennis team worked to claim a second straight Western Massachusetts championship.

The defending Division 1 champion and top-seeded Hurricanes took down No. 2 Belchertown, the two-time Division 3 champions, at Amherst Middle School to claim the Class B title Friday. A cursory glance would say they rolled comfortably.

Amherst (14-4) had to fight for every position. Belchertown (14-5) won at least two points in nearly every set and was points away from forcing third sets in three of the matches.

“Belchertown is some of our best competition,” Amherst senior No. 2 doubles player Josh Kellogg said. “I really like to play them.”

It was the Hurricanes’ third win over their neighbors this season. Kellogg and his partner Ben Oates earned the first point of the match by defeating Belchertown’s Chris Adzima and Jacob Chaisson 6-2, 6-2.

With their work done, all Kellogg and Oates could do was watch and cheer.

“It’s definitely nerve wracking,” Kellogg said. “I had faith in our team. I knew we could win.”

Freshman Miles Jeffries delivered the second point to push Belchertown to the brink, beating Orioles senior Kiernan Corish 6-4, 6-1 at No. 3 singles.

Attention then turned to the No. 1 singles court, where Amherst senior Aengus Cox finished a 6-3, 6-4 win over Tommy Vinagre to clinch the championship.

“I think that people underrate the team aspect of tennis a lot. Talking to your temamates during breaks or hyping them up is actually a really important part of the sport of high school tennis,” Cox said. “Knowing them and knowing what to say to them havinf played with them for a long time really helps with that cohesion. It’s also just a lot of fun.”

With a repeat title in hand, Amherst’s No. 1 doubles team of Rohan Shenoy and Siddu Sitaraman completed a razor-thin 7-5, 7-5 win over Belchertown’s Carson Boscher and Jackson Couchon.

Zach Richards completed the sweep by beating Belchertown’s Trevor Weiss 6-4, 7-5. 

“It's the best match that any of our guys have played all season long. The 5-0 score certainly isn't indicative of how that match went,” Belchertown coach Zach Siano said. “At the end of the day,  we're just going against an absolute powerhouse as in the only Division 2 team in our class tournament and the defending Division 1 champion, and this is what happens. We're going to take away the positives hopefully go to the state tournament and build off some things from there like I was really proud of what they were able to accomplish.”

The Orioles were playing in their seventh straight sectional final. After the first loss, they celebrated riding each other around holding the trophy. Belchertown’s seniors barely wanted to touch the 2022 hardware.

“It just shows how far the program has come and how  our tradition has carried on with with this program,” Siano said.

Unlike after their previous sectional defeats, the Orioles’ season isn’t over. They’re the No. 22 seed in the Division 3 state tournament and will face No. 11 Boston Latin at 4 p.m. Monday.

Amherst will advance to its own Division 3 state tournament as the No. 25 seed. The Hurricanes will face No. 8 Scituate at 4 p.m. Sunday.

“There's a big difference between playing all of the kids we know in Western Mass and then going into the great unknown of Eastern mass,” Cox said. “Having a match that’s tight gets us into the mentality that we’re need when we come up against people who we’re not familiar with.”

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.

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