Martha’s Vineyard boys tennis team off to 3-0 start

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