Barons #1 singles player, Sophomore Nathaniel Winik, played a hard-fought match against Richard Montgomery’s #1 player. Winik quickly went down 2-0 in the first set, but then found his composure and his rhythm. Moving his forehand around and varying his backhands, some topspin and some biting slices, he showed flashes of brilliance and raced back to 3-2. The matchup was tight, and both players were extremely physical, using all angles of the court. At 5-2, Winik broke down his opponent’s game, and took the first set 6-3. However his opponent, a seasoned player with a heavy hitting game, hit his stride in the second set, and won out 6-1, 6-0.
Barons #2 singles player, Senior Zach Martel, looking good, played with reckless abandon against RM Senior, Justin Song, hitting a combination of big shots and blistering winners. But Song, who in many schools would be playing number one, proved to be too much. Able to chase down balls and switch from defense to offense quickly, Song, an extremely deceptive player and tough competitor, prevailed 6-4,6-1.
But whatever the outcome in singles one and two, their solid play was prophetic and signaled that the Barrons had come to play in earnest today and that this match was far from over.
Barons #3 singles, Freshman Jax Khademi, was a force to be reckoned with. With his long flowing strokes, Jax enjoys playing angles and ripping big shots, and he proved to be too powerful for his opponent this afternoon and won running away 6-1,6-3.
Barons ever steady Senior Combo Garrick Adams and Calum Fraser dropped the first set 4-6, but rebounded behind powerful ground strokes and some cool handed play at net winning the final two sets 6-2, 6-3.
Seniors Andrew Cha and Victor Platzer won their first set 6-4, but their opponents found their game in the second and in a match that was closer than the score would reflect lost the final two sets 4-6, 2-6.
With the Barons down 2-3 in overall match score, it fell to Sophomore Elliot Lovinger to keep BCC from going down in defeat. Elliott did not disappoint. Filling in at number four – usually he plays doubles – he displayed steady and cool play, and resisted making easy errors. He played smart and overpowered his opponent in straight sets 6-2, 6-2.
With the match score all evened up at three all, everything rested on the Barons number three doubles team of Sophomore Jack Harcourt and Freshman James Jablon. You could feel the tension in the air, and the excitement, when the duo, playing their first competitive match together, raced to a commanding 5-2 score. But then the momentum shifted and somehow they watched their lead slip away and before anyone knew it, clouds drifted overhead threatening to rain and the boys were soon playing a tiebreaker. If there’s one word to describe them, they were clutch today, winning the first set in a thrilling tiebreaker 7-6, and then an equally thrilling second set, 6-3, putting the Barons over the top and locking in the 4-3 win.
The Baron’s next scheduled match is Monday, April 15 when the Barons travel to meet cross town rival and always competitive Walt Whitman High. First serve between the Barons and the Vikings is scheduled for 3:30 PM. – Jay Winik, Matt Harcourt