Boys’ thirds squash rumbled down I-91 in search of bacon on Wednesday. The van-assigning gods (aka Amanda in phys plant) had blessed us with Van #4 for this trip, meaning the boys could all luxuriate in their comfy bucket seats while Coach Speer enjoyed the cruise control. After an uneventful stint in the carpool lane and some minor road rage from a Wallingford truck driver, we arrived on our archrival’s campus no worse for wear.
The fellas quickly suited up and hit the courts for an unusually focused warmup – one court even progressing through a series of drop-drive drills rather than the usual mindless king-of-the-court. Coach Speer was facing a familiar foe in Coach Gallagher, Choate’s AD and boys’ tennis coach, but their team included many new faces. After another interminable set of introductions and a truly peculiar team cheer, we sent out the evens and retreated to the upstairs gallery to watch.
Justin led the charge, blasting through his first game before his opponent found a groove and took the second. However, our second-year veteran rebounded nicely, hitting rail after rail and finishing points nicely with crosscourts or drop shots – he closed it out in four (saving a game point in the fourth) to put our first win on the board. Nathan, having gone up two games to none against a hard-serving opponent, had to wait to finish while his opponent saw the trainer; Tommy kept him sharp during the interlude, and Nathan finished things off soon after. 2-0 to Deerfield.
Ethan was locked in battle at #6, fighting both a talented opponent and the intricate rules of the game. He played a terrific match, both defending well and mixing things up on the offensive end, and was relieved to get off the court with a five-game win. Seconds later, Arthur held off his opponent to win 11-8 in the third, which clinched the match 4-0 for Deerfield. As Tommy and Alex Kaminsky finished up their matches without incident, Alex Smith saved three game points to win his second game 15-13 and took a much less eventful third game. Matt lost a heartbreaker for the ages, winning the first two games 11-6 and 11-7, but letting his guard down to drop the last three 11-9, 11-4, and 12-10 (having held four match points in the final game). You’ll get him next time, Matt!
All attention then swung to our two remaining matches: Matthew, having a tough day at the #5 spot, and Elliot, down two games to none at #11. After Matthew went down swinging, the whole team shifted to Elliot’s match, where, after finally starting his serves on the left side against his lefty opponent, he won a few easy points and was able to regain his confidence. As his teammates cheered him on, Elliot blasted through the last three games; the outcome was never in doubt as he won in five – an inspiring performance!
The ride home was marked by near-carsickness, Chipotle, good conversation, and a solid rendition of the Cheering Song. The team’s record stands at 4-1, with a big match against an undefeated Taft squad looming this Saturday.
Deerfield 6, Choate 1
Tommy Gilmore won in 3
Nathan Hu won in 3
Arthur Yao won in 3
Justin Lui won in 4
Matthew Wuyan lost in 3
Ethan Kelly won in 5
Alex Kaminsky won in 3
Johnny “Jonny” Glinton lost in 5
Alex “Smitty” Smith won in 3
Matt Wierzbicki lost in 5
Elliot Flagg won in 5