Barnstable ends Martha’s Vineyard boys tennis win streak at 32

Kent Leonard in action against Barnstable on April 2 at MVRHS. — File photo by Ralph Stewart

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School boys tennis team hadn’t lost a match since June 10, 2011, when Cape Cod Academy eliminated the Vineyarders in the MIAA Division 3 South Sectional Final.

Monday in Barnstable, after an undefeated 23-0 run to the 2012 state championship and a 9-0 start to the current season, the Barnstable Red Raiders ended the Vineyard win streak at 32 matches. Barnstable won 4-1 in what was an outstanding display of high school tennis.

“We scheduled Barnstable this year because we knew they were a division one team and we knew how strong they were,” coach Ned Fennessy said. “It was good preparation to compete for another state championship. We beat them [April 2] and they beat us. It was probably the best high school tennis I’ve seen in five years.”

The Red Raiders’ win avenged a 5-0 loss to the Vineyarders on April 2 in Oak Bluffs.

Kent Leonard was the lone Vineyarder to gain a victory, 6-4, 6-1, over Tyler Shibler. Natty Schneider lost a three-hour thriller to Sonny Bisazza at first singles 6-2, 5-7, 10-8. Justice Yennie had his streak of 54 consecutive wins at third singles snapped by Max Francis 6-4, 2-6, 6-3.

Barnstable dominated the doubles matches. Colby Blaze and Donnie Brodd defeated Jackson McBride and Patrick McCarthy at first doubles, 6-1, 6-2, while Cooper Blaze and Cooper Hesse bested Justin Smith and Ryan Sawyer at second doubles, 6-3, 6-3.

“The bottom line is I’m not surprised,” coach Fennessy said. “In the first match, we had three matches that we had to come from behind to win. To beat them 5-0 was a big surprise to me, and I’m sure it was a shock to them.

“I told them that they better be ready because Barnstable was up to settle the score. It could have gone either way. We just go on. One loss is not a problem for me. The team played the best they could play and that’s all I ever ask.”

The Vineyarders are back in action this afternoon at 3 pm in Oak Bluffs against Bishop Stang.