BERLIN - The Berlin boys tennis team took advantage of the perfect weather Tuesday afternoon and used it to cruise to an easy victory on its home court.
The only match the Redcoats dropped was the final doubles match of the day as they beat New Britain 6-1.
“It was a good team win,” Thomas Fijalkowski, Berlin’s No. 2 singles players said. “We just focused getting the ball back on the court, which we’ve been doing a lot lately and have been winning because of it.”
Sophomore Jose Garcia and senior Saul Rodriguez got the lone win for the Hurricanes, 6-2, 6-1 in the No. 3 doubles match. But despite a seemingly easy win, both players focused on things they can improve on.
“”We both played really well,” said Rodriguez, who joked after the match that the weather was perfect because of the fact that there was no wind, which tends to blow his long hair in his face. “It was a good, convincing win. I have some stuff to work on also, like hitting the ball with one hand, as opposed to always using two. But it was definitely good to get this win for the team.”
“I usually like to use backhands, but the way they were serving, I really couldn’t do that,” Garcia said. “I just needed more time. When I get that time, I can make it look easier.”
The rest of the match was one-sided in favor of the Redcoats.
Jonathan Trevethan, Fijalkowski, Kevin Stafstrom and Ryan Jenkins swept the singles matches. Trevethan and Stafstrom won their matches without dropping a single game. Fijalkowski only dropped one game in the second set.
“I think I played well,” Fijalkowski said. “I was really just focused on the basics, getting the ball back in the court. Also, I was really focused on my foot movement and staying balanced.”
The first two doubles matches saw closer scores than Garcia’s and Rodriguez’s, but were still wins for the Redcoats. Seniors Dom Biello and Ryan Cyr picked up a 6-0, 6-2 win over Yasser Vasquez and Brandon Zapata in the No. 1 doubles. In the second doubles match, Jackson Lombardi and James Zovich took down Alex Munoz and Sebastian Tarasiuk 6-2, 6-3.
Berlin head coach Rex Smith was pleased with his team’s performance and also praised New Britain’s competitiveness, despite what the score showed. Overall, he thought it was a great atmosphere and “the teams had a fun afternoon.”
“That really is a great community out of New Britain and I’m happy we can keep this sort of relationship between the two teams,” Smith said. “[New Britain head coach] Joe [Vaverchak] and I get along really well. So we will definitely try to keep it going as long as I can.”
The win for Berlin moves them to 4-5 on the season, while New Britain falls to 2-9.
But Vaverchak is much more focused on developing his inexperienced team, rather than the win-loss column.
“Being so inexperienced, these kids really are improving every day they come out here, like I told them that they would at the beginning of the year,” Vaverchak said. “And they are improving tremendously as we continue. We may not be winning a lot of matches, but we are improving. I think a lot of our kids played really well today, even though we lost.”
Tyler Roaix can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org