Though singles players Aaron Revzin and Aaron Siegel attract most of the attention on Needham’s boys’ tennis team, coach Drew Lawrence warns not to sleep on his doubles pairs.
“I think a lot of teams out there think of us as having these wonderful singles players, which we do, but compared to other teams our doubles players are just as good,’’ Lawrence said.
Both Rockets doubles pairs took care of business Monday at Newton North as Needham defeated Lexington, 4-1, in the Division 1 EMass final. The Rockets, who have 42 consecutive team wins, will look to defend their title against St. John’s of Shrewsbury in Thursday’s state final at Clark University.
Needham’s first doubles pair of Mo Lipman and Matt Bejian took care of Minutemen tandem Dan Maffa and Jonah Bader by winning, 6-2, 6-2, while the duo of Mitchell Silverman and Ben Okonow took down Jesse Kao and Alex Lee, 6-0, 7-5.
Lexington’s David Herrera defeated Needham’s Sam Corton, 6-0, 6-3, in the third singles matchup, but the Rockets cemented the win when Siegel beat Harry Nichols, 6-1, 6-1, in the second singles draw.
“I’ve worked a lot in getting them to stay aggressive all the time,’’ Lawrence said of his players. “They’re comfortable knowing if they play that style they’re going to make mistakes. The fact is they need to play that aggressive to beat the level of teams we’re meeting now.’’
Though the outcome between Revzin and Lexington’s Mark Pronchick was inconsequential once Siegel won, the top singles players decided to finish their match. After nearly two hours, Revzin emerged with a 6-7 (2-7), 6-4, 6-4 win.
“I was glad that they chose to play it out,’’ Lawrence said. “I wanted to see him get out there and strike the ball and dictate play, which he did.’’
Division 3 EMass
Martha’s Vineyard 4, Weston 1 - Despite having to jump on the noon ferry and endure a two-hour bus ride north to Lexington, the Vineyarders extended their dream season.
Martha’s Vineyard (22-0) took out the two-time defending Division 3 champion Wildcats as it continues to push further into the postseason than any team in program history. The Vineyarders will meet Nashoba in the state final Thursday.
“This is best team I’ve ever had,’’ said Vineyard coach Ned Fennessy, who is in his 22d season. “They’ve matured through the course of the season and they were up for the match.’’
Justice Yennie’s 6-3, 6-2 win in third singles got the ball rolling for Vineyard, and the first doubles team of Natty Schneider and Jackson McBride powered their way to a 7-6 (7-4), 6-3 win.
Sophomore Patrick McCarthy clinched the victory for the Vineyarders with a 6-3, 6-3 win in second singles.
The match of the day came in first singles, where Vineyard junior Kent Leonard dropped the first set, 0-6, against Ethan Chan, but battled back and took the last two sets, 6-4, 6-2.
“I’m so proud of them. Words escape me,’’ said Fennessey. “To come up here and beat Weston, the returning state champs, it’s just phenomenal.’’