Martha’s Vineyard blanks Barnstable 5-0 in boys tennis

Patrick McCarthy makes a forehand return in the first doubles match. — Photo by Ralph Stewart

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School boys tennis team, the defending Division 3 state champion, took down visiting Division 1 Barnstable, 5-0, Tuesday afternoon in the home opener.

“A big win and a surprisingly big win; I never expected 5-0,” Coach Ned Fennessy said. “They were all good matches and really good tennis.” The seven players who won the championship were all there, in different spots.

The Vineyard lineup has familiar faces, with some new wrinkles. Following a pre-season round robin tournament, Natty Schneider took the first singles spot from last year’s number one Kent Leonard, who is playing at second singles. Patrick McCarthy, second singles last year, was paired with Jackson McBride in first doubles. The duo played together two years ago and won 14 of 17 matches.

At first singles, Natty Schneider defeated Tyler Shibler, 6-4, 6-2; Kent Leonard downed Sonny Bisazza, 7-6, 6-0, at second singles; and Justice Yennie rolled over Max Francis, 6-2, 6-0, in the third singles match.

Patrick McCarthy and Jackson McBride won the first set 6-4 over Colby Blaze and Donnie Brodd, then fought back from 3-5 down in the second set to win, 7-5. In second doubles, Justin Smith and Ryan Sawyer toughed out a win over Cooper Blaze and Cooper Hess, 6-7, 6-4, 10-4 (super tie-breaker).

The win over Barnstable was the 24th in a row for the Vineyarders, who finished unbeaten at 23-0 in 2012. “I told them to stay focused and not let their egos get in the way from last year,” Coach Fennessy said.

Despite the loss, the visiting Red Raiders put up a good fight. “These Barnstable kids, even though they are a lot younger — three freshman, an eighth grader, two sophomores, and a junior — bodes very well for them,” Coach Fennessy said. “They’re pretty much like we were a few years ago.”

The Vineyarders played at Division 1 Falmouth in a late match on Wednesday afternoon.