'Wick tennis earned its third consecutive NEPSAC title after defeating Groton in the Class A Finals on Sunday afternoon.
It was a grueling Sunday of tennis. After play was suspended on Saturday afternoon due to the heat index being too high for outdoor play, everything was pushed back to Sunday. Each semi-final would be played indoors at Groton on four courts each.
The semi-finals began at 9 a.m. on Sunday and Brunswick was facing #2 seed Andover. The Bruins played Andover at the beginning of the season without their #2 and #3 players and lost a close 4-3 match. This time the full roster was healthy and ready to compete.
After earning the doubles point convincingly, the singles matches were a bit closer. However, with wins at No. 1, 3, and 4, Bruins clinched the match 4-0 without the No. 5 and 6 needing to start play.SEMI-FINALS
Brunswick 4, Andover 0
#1 (B) E. Lee / S. Gunningham def E. Wong / J. Liao 8-2
#2 (B) W. Monahan / C. Zimmerman def E. Wang / A. Zhu 8-0
#3 (B) E. Nagler / L. Gunningham vs A. Zheng / K. Niu 7-5 unfinished
#1 (B) Evan Lee def Ethan Wong 6-1, 6-2
#2 (B) Will Monahan def Eddie Wang unfinished: 5-7, 1-2
#3 (B) Caleb Zimmerman def Alex Zhu 6-3, 6-2
#4 (B) Santos Gunningham def Avery Zheng 6-2, 6-4
#5 (B) Edward Nagler did not start
#6 (B) Tucker Maclean did not start
Brunswick would then face top-seeded Groton, who went undefeated in its regular season. Groton was going to be a strong force to be reckoned with, playing with home advantage on their indoor courts and with an enthusiastic fanbase.On paper, it appeared to be a close match-up, and in reality it would be even closer.
The match started with the doubles. At #3 doubles, Groton was too strong and took the win early. However, both No. 2 and No. 1 were battling it out. Brunswick would level the score winning at No. 2. It was coming down to the No. 1s. Although earning an early break, Groton would break back mid-set to keep it close. With a few crucial points at 6-6, Brunswick took the lead and then eventually the pro-set 8-6. Brunswick led 1-0 after the doubles.
All six singles matches took the court to begin what would be a marathon contest.
Brunswick would win the first singles match at No. 3 with freshman Caleb Zimmerman. 2-0 Brunswick
Groton would pull one back after winning at No. 4 against Lorenzo Gunningham. 2-1. And then another against Santos Gunningham at No. 5. 2-2
JuniorWill Monahan would eventually outlast a persistent competitor at No. 2 to put 'Wick back in the lead at 3-2.
At this point both of senior co-captains were still on court fighting tooth and nail. Evan Lee at No. 1 had won the first set 7-5 after being down 5-3, but then lost the second set 3-6 to go to a super tiebreaker. Edward Nagler at No. 6 had been down 5-1 in the first set to eventually lose 5-7, but then came back to win the second set 7-6: another super-tiebreaker.The stage was set for a memorable finish as both super tiebreakers were being played.
On the #1 court, Evan Lee took an early lead 8-4 and looked to be in command, but his Groton opponent was not going to make it easy. He fought back to 8-8, and it became a mental battle and test of true mettle. The points would go back and forth with both players trading and saving match points. At 14-15 down, Evan would save his fourth match point and then he would win three consecutive points, sealing the victory on his third match point and clinching the match and the New England title for Brunswick.
No better way for a senior co-captain to end his Brunswick tennis career!Summary of Results:
NEW ENGLAND CLASS A FINAL
Brunswick 4, Groton 2
#1 (B) E. Lee / S. Gunningham def J. Gura / B. Jones 8-6
#2 (B) W. Monahan / C. Zimmerman def L. Li / W. Vrattos 8-5
#3 (B) L. Gunningham / E. Nagler lost to T. Wright / G. Gura 1-8
Singles (order of finish)
#3 (B) Caleb Zimmerman def Ben Jones 6-1, 6-3 (2-0)
#4 (B) Lorenzo Gunningham lost to Trip Wright 4-6, 2-6 (2-1)
#5 (B) Santos Gunningham lost to Griffin Gura 3-6, 5-7 (2-2)
#2 (B) Will Monahan def Jared Gura 6-4, 6-3 (3-2)
#1 (B) Evan Lee def Larry Li 7-5, 3-6, 17-15 (4-2)
#6 (B) Edward Nagler vs Jack Lionette 5-7, 7-6 (1), 4-6 unfinished