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The bubble at Vineyard Youth Tennis (VYT) will come down Saturday, May 3, at 8:30 am. This is an annual undertaking in which volunteers graciously help. Anyone who has ever benefited from the VYT’s free tennis program is encouraged to help. For more information or to sign up, call 508-693-7762.

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Senior captain Patrick McCarthy rallied for a three set win over Fairhaven's Anthony Joseph at first singles. — Ralph Stewart

The two-time defending state champion Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School boys tennis team is off to a 3-0 start under new coach Josh Schaan.

“It was a really good first week,” Coach Schaan said. “Fifteen matches played with only one loss: it’s definitely a good sign. This young group that we have is exciting for the future. Patrick [senior captain Patrick McCarthy] is doing a good job encouraging the younger players. He has the good qualities that you like to see in a captain.”

Monday, the Vineyarders defeated host Sandwich, 4-1. The Blue Knights are the first team in the young season to register a point against the Purple. They did it in the first singles match as Matt Martin topped Patrick McCarthy 6-3, 6-0. The Vineyarders turned the tables by winning both doubles matches, 6-1, 6-2. Zak Danz and Dunovan Belisle defeated James O’Brien and Justin Leach at first doubles, while James Kelliher and David Webster beat Jack Caseli and Jack Condin.

The final two singles matches were tough, but the Vineyarders prevailed. Connor Downing won, 6-3, 6-4, over Christian Rossomando at second singles, and Max Hammond outlasted Vincent Tanguilig, 4-6, 6-1 and 10-8, at third singles in a third set tie-breaker.

“We have some tough competition coming up,” Coach Schaan said. “Sandwich was a good test because they’re a bigger school.”

The Vineyarders won, 5-0, over Fairhaven in a non-league match Friday in Oak Bluffs. Patrick McCarthy, the lone starter from last year’s team, struggled early, losing the first set, 6-1, but rebounded impressively, 6-2, 6-3, to beat Anthony Joseph at first singles. The rest of the young Vineyarders rolled in straight sets. Connor Downing defeated Ted Bonnette, 6-0, 6-0. Max Hammond won the third singles match, 6-1, 6-2, over Alex D’Abruzzo.

Both Vineyard doubles teams posted big wins. First doubles tandem Zak Danz and Dunovan Belisle scored a double bagel against Connor Powers and Noah Aurelio, while James Kelliher and David Webster downed Theo Hennen and Andrew Bulhoes, 6-1, 6-1, at second doubles.

Wednesday afternoon in the home opener against Norton, the Vineyarders blanked the Lancers 5-0. Freshmen Max Hammond, Zak Danz, James Kelliher, and David Webster all picked up their first varsity career wins.

With the same lineup as Friday’s match, Patrick McCarthy defeated Brandon Jenkins, 6-0, 6-3; Connor Downing beat Robbie Douglas, 6-0, 6-0; Max Hammond topped Sean Murphy, 6-2, 6-0; Zak Danz and Dunovan Belisle defeated Alex Belinsky and Tony Chen, 6-1, 6-0; and James Kelliher and David Webster bested John Munger and Devin Kalnicki, 6-2, 6-0.

Coach Schaan cited Connor Downing’s win as the performance of the day and praised the aggressiveness and solid defense of both doubles teams.

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Penny Franklin hustles to chip back a volley. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The Vineyard Tennis Center hosted the 18th Annual Love at First Set mixed doubles tennis tournament last weekend. Gene Erez and Maggie Mae took highest honors in the “Kisses” draw. They came back from match point down to surpass Lynn Blake and Leo McHugh 4-6, 6-3,11-9.  

Sandy Nadelstein and Penny Franklin trumped the upper level “Hugs” draw over the new pairing of Cathy Lattanzi and Doug Korrell, 6-3, 6-2.

The club offered a “Re-Gift” Silent Auction to the tournament proceeds that benefit Dana Farber Cancer Institute this year. All told, the event raised more than $2,000.

Husband-and-wife teams dominated the team makeup this year.  Todd and Marilda Hollister played their opening round, sliding past Kathy and Ron Forrester, 6-4, 6-4, before bowing to Bev Mazza and Chuck Scott.

Shawn and Susie Schofield pushed through a third-set tiebreaker to overcome Steve and Robin Mussell, 6-4, 3-6, 10-6. The Schofields moved on to the semi-finals and fell to Gene Erez and Maggie Mae, 6-4, 7-5 .

Maggie Mae and Gene Erez outplayed Susan Garrett and John Potter 6-3, 6-3, to earn their berth in the semi-finals. Leo McHugh and Lynn Blake worked their way into the finals, taking Roger and Sharon Spinney, 6-3, 6-0,  then squeezed by Chuck Scott and Bev Mazza, 6-0, 5-7, 10-8.

The Hugs draw recruited some top players into new pairings. T’jark Aldeborgh and Mary Breslauer surpassed Skip Dostal and Lili Cooperrider, 6-1, 6-4, before losing in a tie-breaker, 7-5, 4-6, 10-4,  to Cathy Lattanzi and Doug Korell.

Elizabeth McBride and Ken Armsted put up a tough fight to hang on, 6-4, 6-4, over Paul Ulyatt and Paula Rego. Top seeds Sandy Nadelstein and Penny Franklin entered the finals topping Ken Armsted and Elizabeth McBride, 6-4, 6-1.

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The 18th annual Love At First Set mixed doubles tennis tournament will be held February 8-9, at the Vineyard Tennis Center Workout and Spa. The event benefits cancer research at Dana Farber hospital. The entry fees are $65 for members, $85 for non-members. For information, call 508-696-8000 or email workout568@aol.com