Division 3 boys tennis: Belchertown falls to Mount Greylock in WMass championship

For the Gazette
Published: 6/10/2016 9:07:20 PM

LEE — For the second year in a row the Belchertown boys tennis team came up against Mount Greylock in the Western Massachusetts Division 3 championship match.

And for the second year running the Orioles walked away on the wrong end of a 4-1 decision.

Mount Greylock cruised past the Orioles on Friday at Lee High School, winning the first three matches to secure the win before splitting the final two.

The win gave Mount Greylock its third title in four years.

“We knew coming into this that we’d have to get a little lucky and play our best match, and we certainly didn’t get either one of those today,” Belchertown coach Zach Siano said. “A lot of unforced errors on our end.”

All of Greylock’s wins were in straight sets, and the first to come through was Gray Kaegi.

Kaegi took advantage of an injury to Belchertown’s Tyler Zulkiewicz to post a 6-2, 6-1 win at first singles.

“It’s fantastic that he came out and played, because he played a really rough match against Monument,” Kaegi said of Zulkiewicz. “It shows a lot of determination for him to come out here and play today, and I respect him a lot for it.”

The second match that finished was at second doubles, where the Greylock duo of Sam Dils and Benni McComish took down Cyrus Raines and Noah Pare 6-2, 6-2.

Shortly after the second doubles win, Greylock No. 2 singles player Jacob Fink finished off Ryan Kearney 6-0, 7-5 to wrap up Greylock’s championship.

Fink rallied out of a 4-3 hole in the second set, and with the score tied at 5-5, Fink took the last two matches to seal the win.

At No. 1 doubles, the Greylock tandem of Matt Wiseman and Brady Foehl won 6-2, 6-3 over Alec Morgado and Dennis Lelic. Belchertown got its lone win at third singles via a super tiebreaker.

Greylock’s Josh Narey took the first set 7-5, but Belchertown’s Jon Vinagre rallied to take the second set 7-5, and with all eyes on the pair after the other matches had wrapped up, Vinagre took the 10-point tiebreaker 10-7 to avoid the sweep.

“Our guys went out there, played with heart, did the best that they could and they came up short,” Siano said. “And it is what it is going forward from there.”

Siano touched on Zulkiewicz gutting out his loss. With his senior clearly favoring his knee, Siano said Zulkiewicz playing helped him keep things as they were coming in.

“I mean, just the fact that Trent was even able to go out there and play, let alone get games, was unreal for us,” he said. “He went out there and did his absolute best. I can’t thank him enough for that. He very well could have tapped out as a senior and moved on from there, but he wanted to do his best for his team.”

Mount Greylock (13-1) will to play Whitinsville Christian (16-4) in the state semifinals. Belchertown finished the year at 15-7.

Siano said that coming up short to Greylock twice in two seasons was a tough pill to swallow.

“We sadly knew this was probably going to be our best chance in the next couple of years to get one of these” championships, he said. “Trent certainly did his all. Ryan and Jon at singles certainly gave their all.”

Siano also said that the back-to-back trips have helped build the profile of the program.

“It’s great for our program going forward,” he said. “I have people in town talking to me, texting me about it.”

In addition to reserve Spencer Caron, the Orioles will lose two players from the starting seven — Zulkiewicz and Kearney. Siano said they will be a tough duo to replace, but the team will try to go about doing just that.

“It’s going to be difficult for us to replace Trent and Ryan. Replacing your one is incredibly difficult, let alone replacing your one and two, but I have guys that are ready to step up next year in Vinagre and Raines and Pare, who are definitely ready to take those singles mantles and run with it from now on,” Siano said.

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