Eyeing a lobbed return in front of freshman duo partner Ben Grace, senior Nate Bartlett spiked the winning match point across the net to seal a 4-1 victory for the Concord-Carlisle boys’ tennis team over Walpole in the Division 2 state final at St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury.
For Bartlett and Grace, their duo win (6-1, 6-1), completed a perfect duo season (21-0) in team play and delivered the Patriots (19-2) their first state championship in 10 years.
“Ben’s a freshman, so it was a transition for him to play on a team like this,” said Bartlett, a co-captain.
“I had been playing high school tennis for three years. So it’s an interesting dynamic and it feels good knowing that we play well together and have such great chemistry together.”
Earlier in the afternoon, the Patriots’ second duo of sophomore Ben France and freshman Andrew Meyer won straight sets (6-0, 6-1) to give the team an early 1-0 lead. Freshman Alex Li gave Bartlett and Grace a 2-0 lead and an opportunity to clinch the title for the Patriots after Li won his individual match (6-1, 6-1).
“I think the comraderie is really what helped us out this season the most,” said Concord-Carlisle head coach Alex Spence.
“[Bartlett and Grace] finished the regular season by beating the individual doubles champions [Acton-Boxboro] and playing great matches all season long. The amount that each player has for each other really makes them tough.”
Junior captain Ben Heinrich won his individual match (6-1, 6-1) before the Patriots shifted their attention to the final match between senior co-captain Cole Hamilton and Rebels freshman Varun Mandulapali.
Mandulapali won his match in three sets (6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 10-7) to give the Rebels, who appeared in their first state final in program history, their lone point of the afternoon. He finished his season with a 23-3 individual record.
Division 1 State
Brookline 3, Lexington 2 — Brookline junior Ben Moolman and senior Josh Fleishman won a critical match at first doubles 6-2, 6-3 as the Warriors (23-0) defeated rival Lexington at Newton North High School to advance to their second consecutive D1 state final.
Monday’s match was the most competitive of the season for Brookline, as Lexington senior Patrick Bodrog defeated Brookline sophomore Noah Schwartz in a third set tiebreak at second singles and Lexington freshman Sam Charney and sophomore Edward Lacson won 7-5, 6-3 at second doubles.
“We knew that one doubles had to step up,” Brookline coach Nick Pero said. “It was our two captains including a senior four year starter [Fleishman], state finalists in the individual tournament, and they did. That was the difference.”
Sophomore Sam Feldman and freshman Jayanth Devaiah won in straight sets at first and third singles for the Warriors, who are hoping Monday’s battle will help them prepare for Thursday’s state final against Algonquin.
“Today’s match gives us all the confidence in the world,” Pero said. “For that kind of win, for that kind of grit, we haven’t had to do that yet this year. For us to be able to do that when presented the challenge, it says a lot about the team’s character.”
Division 3 State
Weston 5, Martha’s Vineyard 0 — Playing to reach its third straight state championship, the Weston boys were unfazed by the unbeaten Vineyarders (20-1) and didn’t drop a set in its 5-0 sweep at Lexington High Monday.
Weston (15-5) will play Hopedale (17-3) for the third consecutive year, having won the previous two.
“We’re 10-5 in the Dual County League and those 10 wins don’t come easy,” Wildcats head coach George Conlin said. “It’s pretty obvious that my boys are tested all season long.”
Junior Jacob Gilligan won the clinching match for Weston at first singles, defeating Chris Perry 6-4, 6-1. Freshman Benny Gilligan, Jacob’s younger brother, won at second singles over Max Potter, 6-3, 6-3.
After a tightly-contested first set, Michael Philipkosky ran away with the second and won 7-6 (2), 6-3 over Eric Reubans.
The first doubles team of Masaki Nawa and Josh Li beat Owen Favreau and Spencer Pogue 6-1, 6-2, and Logan Brand and Chris Coleman won 6-2, 6-1 over David Krauthamer and Luka Nivala.
Division 1 State
Acton-Boxborough 3, Wellesley 2 — The Colonials swept all three singles matches to hand Wellesley its first loss of the season, and advance to the D1 state final for the second consecutive season.
The defending D1 state champion Colonials (15-3) will face Algonquin in the state final Wednesday at St. John’s High in Shrewsbury. A-B coach Mike Gardner believes depth has been the key for the Colonials’ continued success this season.
“The doubles are much better than they were last year,” Gardner said. “Everyone’s played really well all year. And the big thing for our team is that everyone’s improved.”
A-B sophomore Ashleigh Parlman defeated Wellesley senior Monet Riseborough 6-1, 6-1 at first singles and Saanvi Vutukur and Niki Surapini won in straight sets at second and third singles, respectively.
Maria Laso and Haley Genta won a third set super tiebreak at first doubles to finish the season unbeaten and junior Hannah MacDougal and sophomore Lucy Plenge cruised at second doubles for Wellesley (20-1).
Division 3 State
Weston 3, Cohasset 2 — Twins Kayla and Jayme Leschly refused to enter this year’s individual tournament for fear they would’ve had to face each other.
The seniors prefer to play as teammates, and at Lexington High Monday, the Weston first and second singles players both cruised to 6-0, 6-0 victories over their Cohasset opponents Diane Sturdy and Holly Van Etten.
North sectional tournament doubles runner-ups Livvy Lathrop and Lola Philipkosky didn’t take much longer, and sent undefeated Weston (23-0) to the Division 3 State championship with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Regan Thomas and Sophie Smartwood at first doubles.
“Kayla and Jayme at the top have brought such a great energy that everyone has been excited to have, and knew where it could take us,” Wildcats head coach Dyranne Sainato said.
Cohasset (17-4) earned a win at third singles, where Gracyn Lord defeated Sam Burns, who played her first singles match all season filling in for Katerina Cummings, 7-6(8), 6-1.
The second doubles team of Josie MacDougard and Olivia Budington were also victorious for the Skippers, taking a 10-point third-set tiebreaker over Joshna Iyengar and Sammie Buckhart, 6-1, 5-7, 10-8.
Weston will play for its first state title since 2010 against Lee on Wednesday at St. John’s High.
Peter Santo reported from Lexington, Matt Case from Newton and Mike Kotsopoulos from Shrewsbury.