Boys tennis passes first test in title defense

Finn Simpkins puts away a volley during the third singles match against Norwell Monday at MVRHS. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The two-time defending state Division 3 champion Vineyard boys tennis team began its quest for a threepeat with a 5-0 south sectional quarterfinal win over Norwell Monday at the Ned Fennessy Tennis Courts in Oak Bluffs.

The playoff win was the first for the second-seeded Vineyarders under new coach Josh Schaan, who has guided the team to a 15-1 record thus far. Mr. Fennessy, who retired last June after a storied 23-year career, was on hand to root the team on.

The Vineyarders took each match from the seventh-seeded Clippers in straight sets. Senior captain Patrick McCarthy defeated Cam Roach, 6-2, 6-3, at first singles, Connor Downing beat Willie McDonald, 6-4, 6-3, at second singles, and Finn Simpkins stepped into the third singles slot, topping Devin Chen, 7-5, 6-1. “I was very happy with how third singles turned out with Finn,” Coach Schaan said.

In doubles, the number one team of Zak Danz and Dunovan Belisle defeated Andrew Cibotti and Jake Duckworth, 6-0, 6-3, while Charlie Parkhurst and Max Hammond outlasted Liam Beal and Sam Rinko, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 at second doubles.

Due to the threat of inclement weather, the south sectional semifinal between Martha’s Vineyard and third-seeded Cohasset, originally scheduled for Wednesday, June 4, at 3 pm in Oak Bluffs, was moved indoors at the Falmouth Sports Center at 33 Highfield Road across the street from the Cape Cod Curling Club.