MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury Union High School boys’ tennis team opened its season at home on Saturday afternoon with a tight, 4-3, loss to BFA-St. Albans.
Three individual matches featured tiebreakers, and the Tigers, all of whom are underclassmen, won two out of the three. But the final tiebreaker — at No. 5 singles by a score of 13-11 — went to the Bobwhites and swung the match their way.
First-year coach Andy Killorin noted the Tiger in that match, sophomore Marcelo Hanta-Davis, fought off four match points in the tiebreaker, and praised his opponent, Nicholas Striggow for also hanging tough.
“Marcelo played an exceptional match of a similar opponent,” Killorin said. “Credit to St. Albans, who eventually came through.”
Overall, Killorin said the Tigers did well for the first competitive match of the spring.
“I’m very pleased. (It was) a great first outing,” he said. “Of course, there is always more stuff to work on.”
Killorin was particularly happy with his winning players: junior No. 1 Elliot Abbot, who won in a tiebreaker; the No. 1 doubles team of Nick Holmes and Jon Fitzcharles, who prevailed in straight sets; and the No. 2 doubles team of junior Jerry Staret and sophomore Max Mayone, who rallied from a set down to win a tiebreaker.
“Elliott showed resilience, mental toughness, and some clutch hitting to win after losing the first set,” Killorin said.
Killorin said Fitzcharles and Holmes, both six-foot-one, used their height to good advantage.
“They were on top of their game and played at an exceptionally high level,” he said. “When they took the net it was very hard to pass them.”
Staret and Mayone showed resiliency, Killorin said.
“Coming back from losing the first set, and being down in the third set tiebreaker, they showed great poise under pressure to eventually get the win,” he said.
The full results were:
• No. 1 singles: Abbott (Middlebury) defeated Sam Costes, 4-6, 6-3, 1-0 (10-6).
• No. 2 singles: Jake Remillord (St. Albans) defeated Bo Tran (Middlebury), 6-4, 6-3.
• No. 3 singles: Thomas Allerton (St. Albans) defeated Bob Avery (Middlebury), 7-5, 6-2.
• No. 4 singles: Phil McKay (St. Albans) defeated Eric Podraza (Middlebury), 6-2, 6-0.
• No. 1 singles: Striggow (St. Albans) defeated Marcelo Hanta-Davis, 4-6, 6-2, 1-0 (13-11).
• No. 1 doubles: Holmes and Fitzcharles (Middlebury) defeated Laurent Gagne and Dan Barrow (St. Albans), 6-1, 6-1.
• No. 2 doubles: Staret and Mayone (Middlebury) defeated Jacob DuBellis and Jake Pelkey, 4-6, 6-1, 1-0 (12-10).