Boys tennis falls to Weston in state semifinals

Outstanding season ends with loss to defending state champs.


The best Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) boys tennis season in six years came to an end at Lexington High School on Monday afternoon as the two-time defending Division 3 state champion Weston Wildcats defeated the Vineyarders, 5-0, in the state semifinals.

The South champion Vineyarders finished up an outstanding season at 20-1, while the North champion Wildcats (15-5) moved on to play Central Mass. champs Hopedale in the state final on Thursday at St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury.

Playing in front of a number of parents who made the long trip to Lexington, the Vineyarders came into the match sky-high after beating previously undefeated Dover-Sherborn in the South Sectional final last Friday, and were trying to reach the state final for the first time since 2013, when MV clinched the second of back-to-back championships under legendary Coach Ned Fennessy.

Weston, the No. 8 seed in the North, knocked out four higher seeds on their way to Lexington. The Wildcats are a battle-tested bunch, having played a number of Division 1 and 2 schools this season.

“Weston hit very hard, and knew how to close out points, which is experience they take out from playing a season full of difficult matches,” Vineyard co-Head Coach Tony Omer said. “They are a very strong team across the board.”

Vineyard second singles Max Potter lost for the first time this season, 6-3, 6-3, to Benny Gilligan, while third singles Eric Reubens also suffered his first defeat in team play. Reubens rallied from 2-5 down to force a first-set tiebreaker, but lost 7-6, 6-2, to Michael Philipkosky.

In the three remaining matches, Weston’s Jacob Gilligan was a 6-4, 6-1, winner over Vineyard No. 1 singles Chris Ferry; Vineyarders Owen Favreau and Spencer Pogue lost 6-1, 6-2, to Masaki Nawa and Josh Li at first doubles; and second doubles duo David Krauthamer and Luke Nivala fell to Weston’s Logan Brand and Chris Coleman 6-2, 6-1.

“Our guys played really well, I have no complaints,” Coach Omer said after the tough loss. “We had a terrific season, a successful season, and we will be back next year. Our guys are still young, and all but one is returning. This tournament whetted the appetite of our players.”