Brunswick won its eighth-straight NEISA Class A title at Andover on Sunday, as five of seven Bruins won singles titles. Brunswick finished with 113 points out of maximum 119, outdistancing second-place Deerfield by 12 points. Dating back to 1996, Brunswick owns 17 NEISA crowns and 74 individual New England titles. Additionally, the 11-0 Bruins won the Brandes Cup for the best record in New England.
On Sunday, Brunswick bested Deerfield in four title matches (#4, #5, #6 and #7) and took the top spot at #2 for five overall individual titles. The Bruins added third-place results at #1 and #3.
Unlike the team-based, head-to-head contests during the season, the individual-based design rewards points for each player’s finishing position in the 16-person draw across seven ladders of competition.
Scoring for the tournament begins with 17 points for the individual winner of one of the seven 16-person ladders. The second-place performer earns 15 team points, as one point is deducted for the following 14 participants in descending order, ending with the 16th place player earning one team point.
Tad Carney won his first individual title at #7. Carney, the top seed, won all three matches to reach the finals, dropping just a single game in the semis. Carney won the title with a three-game sweep over the second-seeded player (11-5, 11-7, 11-3).
Mac Aube, the top seed at #6, also picked up his first New England title, topping the second seed in the finals (11-1, 11-7, 11-8). Aube did not lose a single game in his four matches.
Coulter Mackesy followed with an individual title at #5. The top-seeded Mackesy won his first title in similar fashion as Aube. After rolling through three rounds, Mackesy posted a three-game sweep of the second seed in the title match (11-9, 11-9, 11-5).
Pierce Henderson picked up his second-straight New England title, winning at #4. Last year, Henderson earned his first-ever New England crown at #7.
Holding a one-game lead in this year’s finals, the top-seeded Henderson was struck in the face by his opponent’s racquet. According to the rules of play, since the injury was caused by an opponent and was significant enough to end the contest, Henderson was awarded the victory.
Brian Leonard, the top seed at #2, needed five games to win his third-straight individual New England title (#5 in 2018, #7 in 2017). In the lone Brunswick final that did not include a Deerfield player as an opponent, Leonard dropped the first two games to the two seed from Avon Old Farms. Leonard rallied for a 12-10 win in the third game and posted back-to-back 11-8 wins to complete the five-game, championship comeback (6-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8).
Dana Santry, the top seed at #3, finished in third place. After dropping a semifinal contest to the #4 seed, Santry rebounded in the third-place game, beating the #3 seed from Taft (11-6, 11-7, 11-2). A year ago, Santry won the individual title at #6.
At #1, Nick Spizzirri, a two-time New England individual champion (#4 in 2018, #5 in 2017), finished in third place. Spizzirri, the fourth seed, was knocked out of title contention in the semifinals by the top-seeded player. Spizzirri’s opponent in the third-place game retired from competition ahead of the match.
The team title caps another excellent season for coach Jim Stephens and the undefeated Bruins (11-0). Earlier this month, Brunswick won its fourth national championship.
NEISA Class A Results
1. Brunswick 113
2. Deerfield 101
3. St. Paul's 80
4. Hotchkiss 76
5. Avon O.F. 73
6. Belmont Hill 71
7. Andover 64
7. Taft 64
9. Hopkins 63
10. Milton 52
11. Nobles 51
12. Tabor 47
13. Choate 35
14. Exeter 29
15. Berkshire 20
16. Groton 18