MUHS boys’ tennis tops Raiders, hits .500 mark

MIDDLEBURY — In a Tuesday match in which both teams were shorthanded, the host Middlebury Union High School boys’ tennis team edged U-32, 4-3, on the Middlebury town courts. The result evened the Tigers’ record at 2-2.
The Tigers played without No. 1 Ziven McCarty, who has lost only once this season. His absence to due illness meant all the Tigers had to bump a rung up on the ladder.
Meanwhile the Raiders arrived without a full complement of players and forfeited at No. 5 singles and No. 2 doubles, allowing Middlebury No. 5 Tre Bonavita and the Tiger doubles team of Drew Kiernan and Sam Daly to win by just showing up.
Tuesday’s result followed a 6-1 win at BFA-St. Albans on Saturday and a well played, 4-3 home loss to Harwood on the prior Thursday.
Even though this year does not resemble 2016, when a senior-laden Tiger squad compiled an undefeated regular season, Coach Ken Schoen said this spring has been enjoyable.
“We’ve got a good bunch of boys, and to be competitive in this match when we don’t even have our first singles player is good. We won a nice match at BFA-St. Albans on Saturday, and we almost beat Harwood. We lost by one tiebreak,” Schoen said. “We’re going to have a good season.”
Schoen also pointed out that only three of his regulars are seniors, and his team is improving and showing camaraderie.
“This is a rebuilding year,” he said. “And we’re doing respectably well. And these boys are really nice, and they work pretty hard. And they’re learning. So I’m happy with it. And they’re a nice team. They all get along really well. We’re having fun.”
In contested matches on Tuesday:
•  At No. 1 singles, Wilson Knight (U) defeated Owen Hammel (M) 6-2, 6-2.
•  At No. 2 singles, Jesse Rubin (M) defeated Basil Hume (U) 6-1, 0-6, 12-10.
•  At No. 3 singles, Owen Mika-Smith (U) defeated Ronan Howlett (M) 7-6, 7-5.
   TIGER SENIOR RONAN Howlett lost a very close No. 3 singles match to U-32’s Owen Mika-Smith Tuesday, but the Tiger boys’ team won the match, 4-3.
Independent photo/Trent Campbell
•  At No. 4 singles, Gavin Deiss (U) defeated Alex Marohnic (M) 6-1, 6-3.
•  At No. 1 doubles, Hunter Munteanu/Spencer Doran (M) defeated Jack Morris/Calen Kirkpatrick (U) 6-4, 6-4.
In the two matches late last week, at No. 1 McCarty won both of his matches in straight sets, as did Rubin at No. 3. Also winning twice was Kiernan and Daly at No. 2 doubles, in straight sets on Saturday and in three sets vs. Harwood.
Hammel split his matches at No. 2, winning vs. BFA and losing vs. Harwood, as did Howlett at No. 4. No. 5 Doran lost at Harwood and picked up a forfeit win on Saturday.
The No. 1 Tiger doubles team of Munteanu and Marohnic dropped both matches. 

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