A week ago Vineyard high school boys tennis coach Ned Fennessey characterized his team's hard-fought defeat of Somerset, 3-2, as "great stuff." Monday, after the third- seeded Islanders edged Norwell, the sixth seed, by the same 3-2 margin, the dean of the MVRHS coaching staff allowed himself the liberty to quietly remark with a smile and a wink, "greater stuff."
It took almost three hours of tennis to reach a conclusion as "neither team gave any quarter," the coach said. "Three of the five contests went to three sets and the outcome was in doubt until the very end."
The Vineyard's first doubles team, Dylan Hutchinson and Win Grimm, did make quick work of their opponents, Tim Delferro and Tim Healy, 6-2, 6-3.
At first singles, Andrew McHugh started slowly and trailed in the first set 1-4 before he found Jay Wright's weaknesses. He charged back, evened the match at 5-5, then took the next two games to take the set 7-5. McHugh swept the second set, 6-2, giving the home team a 2-0 lead.
At third singles, Nik Wojkielo lost his first set 6-3 but rebounded to take the second by the same 6-3 count. The score was tied at 3-3 in the deciding set when Tom Koch of Norwell reeled off the next three games for a 6-3 win. That brought the Clippers closer, but they still trailed, 2-1.
At second doubles, Islanders Zach Rubin and Grant McCarthy lost the first set, 3-6. In set two they fell behind, 0-3 and 1-4 before forging a comeback that brought them to a tie-breaker at 6-6. The Vineyarders went ahead 5-2 only to see Norwell win three of the next four points to pull within one, 5-6. Zack and Grant prevailed 7-5 to force a third set in which Norwell proved too much and won, 6-1.
Now the match was even and all turned their attention to the only match remaining at second singles where sophomore Reid Yennie faced Keegan Allahyarian, a senior. Well matched, the players seemed equal in athleticism and stroke production. Reid jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first set only to see Keegan run off four games and take a 4-3 lead. They fought each other to a standstill and got to a 6-6 tiebreaker. Now one of the players had to win by two points and Allahyarian proved equal to the task, winning the set, 7-6.
Undaunted, Yennie charged back in the second set, 6-4.
Now the match depended on the conclusion of set three.