We traveled to Cheshire on a sunny Wednesday afternoon; our up-and-down season had come down to a single match – win and we had a spot in the playoffs, lose and our season was over. After arriving and getting through a quick warmup, we sent out the doubles and hoped for the best.
Cheshire is a talented team, and we knew a victory would require a solid performance from the bottom of the lineup. Gideon and Alfi were up to the task, quickly off with an 8-3 win. Unfortunately, Carl and Matthew were up against a juggernaut at first doubles, where eighth grader Casey Kania and junior Christian Reubens proved a formidable team. They had it all: heavy groundstrokes, big serves, and a soft touch at net; our boys were unable to gain any traction and went down 8-2. All attention then shifted to second doubles, where Scott and Darren battled hard but weren’t quite playing their best. Cameron’s relentless poaching got Cheshire’s team a break at 5-6, and they were able to serve it out the next game.
Singles would tell a similar story, but we hoped for a different ending. Alfi maintained tunnel vision on court 5, shaking off a few double faults in the opening game to quickly get the job done against Kenesky and tie the score at 1-1. Shortly afterward, Darren was off, succumbing to perhaps the most talented #3 in the league – Casey will be a formidable opponent for the next four years. 1-2.
Carl was matched up against Cameron on court 1 – he had squeaked by the then-eighth grader in a first set tiebreak last year before Cameron retired with an injury, so this promised to be a close matchup. Fortunately for us, Carl broke Cameron in his second serve game and never looked back, powering his way to a convincing victory and tying the match score at 2-all.
Gideon maintained his focus in the face of Ayida’s all-court game, running through the second set and putting our third point on the board. All that remained was Matthew, beset by back pain and down 2-5 in the first, and Scott, just having taken the first against Reubens.
Matthew decided that he simply could not go down without a fight, and so he returned to his usual game – a wise decision, as he reeled off five games in a row to take the set! This took some pressure of Scott, who, swinging freely, was up a break at 5-2. Reubens was not done, holding his serve at love and going up 15-40 on Scott’s next serve game, but our captain once again came through in the clutch: he took the next four points to clinch the match. Matthew, having given the first set everything he had, was down 0-5 and really hurting.
Today was another team effort, with excellent performances up and down the lineup. The win earned us a matchup with Hotchkiss in the first round of the Class A tournament on Saturday. After a 4-0 loss to them last week, we’ll need to be at the top of our game. I’ll be updating our Twitter for any parents who can’t make it.
Deerfield 4, Cheshire 2
Christian Reubens/Casey Kania (C) d. Carl Grant/Matthew Wuyan (D) 8-2
Cameron Kania/Jacob Lebowitz (C) d. Scott Danforth/Darren Ho (D) 8-5
Alfi Auersperg/Gideon Yektai (D) d. Button Gao/Andy Duong (C) 8-3
Grant (D) d. Cam. Kania (C) 6-1, 6-1
Danforth (D) d. Reubens (C) 6-3, 6-4
Cas. Kania (C) d. Ho (D) 6-0, 6-1
Wuyan (D) vs. Lebowitz (C) 7-5, 0-5, unfinished
Auersperg (D) d. Zach Kenesky (C) 6-2, 6-0
Yektai (D) d. Bawo Ayida (C) 6-3, 6-0