On a beautiful, sunny, 70-degree afternoon, the Deerfield Boys’ Junior Varsity tennis team (2-0) traveled to western Connecticut for a match against the Taft Rhinos. With spring truly in the air and warmth finally shaking the winter blues away, Big Green scrapped out a 4-3 win.
Deerfield won the doubles point by taking 2 of the 3 sets. At #3, Will Schoelkopf and Francis Shea faced a tough pair and were quickly defeated 1-8. At #2, Yongjin Park and Connor Flannery battled back and forth with their opponents, building a 6-3 lead, before finally finishing off the last two games for an 8-3 victory. In similar fashion at #1, Noah and Oscar Depp built a quick 4-1 lead en-route to an 8-3 set win. In an exhibition match, Alexander Grosse and Malcolm Rich seemed to be coasting to victory, staking a 7-2 lead. But their opponents began to slowly chip away at the lead, taking the next 4 games. The rally fell short, however, as Alexander and Malcolm took the final game for an 8-6 win.
In singles matches, it was a tale of two extremes. At #6, Francis Shea was overwhelmed by Jon Ip, falling 0-6, 0-6. At #5, Will Schoelkopf faced a similar challenge against Kevin Lian, losing 1-6, 1-6. At #4, Connor Flannery faced Tate Phillips, who, as shared by Connor, “played exactly like me, but he was better.” Both sets were at 2-3 early on, but Tate took over the later games of each set, defeating Connor 2-6, 2-6. With these three matches finishing first, Deerfield appeared to be in a challenging 1-3 hole.
However, the story was different on the other courts. At #1, Noah Depp played a smart, strong game, making his shots again and again while opponent Tony Liu displayed less consistency. Noah emerged with a convincing 6-2, 6-2 victory. At #2, Yongjin Park came out strong, using all parts of the court and hitting some rocket shots that completely overwhelmed Coleman Jennings. Yongjin took his match 6-0, 6-3. With all other sets completed, and the score knotted at 3-3, it all came down to Oscar Depp at #3. Oscar found himself in a 2-5 hole again Jonathan Cheung, a very consistent opponent that rarely missed his groundstrokes but did not have a strong finishing shot. Unforced errors were Oscar’s nemesis. But he recovered his stride at just the right moment and suddenly looked invincible, winning 5 straight games to take the first set 7-5. He took this strong play into the second set, confidently winning 6-2. With the completion of this match, Deerfield won the day 4-3.
In exhibition, DA took two of three matches. Alexander Grosse worked hard in his first set, battling to a 7-5 win, then rolled to a 6-1 victory in the second set. Malcolm Rich battled back and forth with his opponent, but fell 4-6, 4-6 in a close match. In the final exhibition, Crawford Rice rolled 6-0, 6-1. It was a fine afternoon of tennis in Watertown, CT. The JV boys play again this Wednesday, April 17 at home against Eaglebrook. Two of Big Green’s three losses last year came at the rackets of the Eagles, so a tough match awaits. Come out and support!
1 – Noah Depp/Oscar Depp: 8-3
2 – Yongjin Park/Connor Flannery: 8-3
3 – Francis Shea/Will Schoelkopf: 1-8
4 – (ex.) Alexander Grosse/Malcolm Rich: 8-6
1 – Noah Depp: 6-2, 6-2
2 – Yongjin Park: 6-0, 6-3
3 – Oscar Depp: 7-5, 6-2
4 – Connor Flannery: 2-6, 2-6
5 – Will Schoelkopf: 1-6, 1-6
6 – Francis Shea: 0-6, 0-6
7 – (ex.) Alexander Grosse: 7-5, 6-1
8 – (ex.) Malcolm Rich: 4-6, 4-6
9 – (ex.) Crawford Rice: 6-0, 6-1