Timo Nivala eyes a backhand crosscourt winner. Photos by Ralph Stewart
Vineyard Raqueteers go down swinging
The Vineyard boys tennis team fell from the MIAA Division Two South tournament after a hard-fought second round match at Bishop Feehan.
The 4-1 score was unflattering to the Vineyarders who split the doubles contests and lost two singles matches in the third set.
After B-F defeated M.V.'s Daniel Han and Dylan Hutchinson, second doubles tandem Jonah Lipsky and Win Grimm followed up a superb effort in the opener against Seekonk, with an inspired 6-3, 6-0 win over Ross Dini and Steve McMorrow, tying the match at 1-1.
Tim McHugh then lost in the first singles, leaving Vineyard fortunes to rest on the shoulders of Timo Nivala and Andrew McHugh in the remaining singles contests.
Both matches went the distance, with Nivala losing out, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, to Elias Chahine, after fighting off four match points, and a gutsy McHugh falling to Mike McGee, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.
M.V. opened the state tourney with an impressive 3-1 home victory over Seekonk, May 31.
Tim McHugh has his eyes on the ball for a winning backhand.
Tim McHugh was nearly flawless in his first singles match, dispatching Ben Noble, 6-1, 6-0.
The Island doubles teams followed McHugh's lead and gave the Vineyarders an insurmountable 3-0 advantage with two matches still in progress.
First doubles duo Daniel Han and Dylan Hutchinson defeated Ryan Brask and Bryan Perkins, 6-1, 6-3, while the second doubles pair of Jonah Lipsky and Win Grimm were even more efficient in a 6-1, 6-1 sweep.
The second singles match featuring M.V.'s McHugh and Seekonk's Charles Beyroutly was called due to rain, with McHugh leading 3-0 in the third set after battling back to take the second, 6-2.
Third singles player Timo Nivala suffered the lone Vineyard setback in a tough 7-5, 7-5 match with Rick Silva.
Ned Fennessy, Vineyard head coach, praised both Tim McHugh and Jonah Lipsky, hailing their efforts as the best of the season to date.
Dan Sharkovitz deals a pitch to an unseen Highlander in the Brewhas opening game
The Martha's Vineyard Men's Softball League kicked off the new season with its traditional one-pitch tournament on Sunday at Veterans Park in Vineyard Haven.
Picking up where they left off, the defending champion Hurricanes blew away the competition, topping the Brewhas in the final, 9-5.
In first-round action, the Wildcats tamed the Treds, 14-8; the Brewhas beat the Highlanders, 8-5; the Riptides overpowered the Loose Cannons, 16-9; and the 'Canes blanked the Boilers, 6-0.
The Brewhas sent the Riptide out to sea, 10-7, in the first semi-final and the 'Canes clawed the 'Cats, 19-5, in the second.
The regular season was to have started Monday, but the games were rained out. Thus, the season starts for real tonight at Veteran's Park with a doubleheader starting at 6:30 pm.
Monday's rainouts were rescheduled for Wednesday, June 13.
The Women's Softball League begins play on Tuesday, also at Veterans Park.
Alex Gordon-Beck fires away at the Mashpee goal during the Vineyard Under-11 boys division two match. M.V. won, 4-3. Photo courtesy of Nancy Tutko
The regular season concluded over the weekend and four Vineyard squads are headed for the playoffs.
The Under-18 boys won their division with a 7-0-1 record by virtue of a 3-0 victory at Yarmouth-Dennis.
M.V. will face the Dolphins again in the playoffs, this time on home soil at Veterans Park Tuesday or Wednesday.
The U-16 girls were next to clinch a playoff berth with a 6-1 thrashing of host New Bedford.
Emma Lee Iversen filled the onion bag four times and Alexia Schroeder scored twice.
M.V. finished second in the division at 6-2 and will face Dartmouth in the playoffs with a state championship date at stake.
The U-14 boys also finished at 6-2, good for third place and the playoffs.
The picture is more complicated for the U-11 boys. A 1-1 tie against mighty Fall River in the season finale left the Islanders in a three-way tie for fourth place, meaning they will have to win a mini-tournament in Falmouth on Saturday against Dartmouth and Sandwich to advance to the state tourney.
M.V. nearly settled matters in Fall River when goal scorer Jason Oliveira and Colin Cameron just missed out on late winners.
The U-12 boys concluded their season on a high note with a 2-1 win against Falmouth. Patrick McDonough was selected as team MVP.
The U-11 boys second division side won a 4-3 thriller against visiting Mashpee. The Vineyard goals were scored by Alex Gordon-Beck, Ryan Uva, Eli Hanschka, and Gabe DeOliveira, with Alistair Morgan earning an assist.
The U-14 girls division two squad went down scrapping in a 4-2 loss to Dighton-Rehoboth.