by Tom Utescher
During this unusually rainy spring season, it’s been an accomplishment for any tennis team just to complete its schedule of league matches. Chestnut Hill Academy finished the task on Monday, May 16, moving from its own courts to the indoor facility at Flourtown’s Magarity Tennis Center to host its final Inter-Ac League contest of 2011.
It was a make-up match with Malvern Prep, and unfortunately for the Blue Devils, it ended in the same manner as their other Inter-Ac outings this spring, with CHA on the short side of the final score. A 5-2 victory by the visitors capped Chestnut Hill’s season with a league mark of 0-10 (2-11 overall). The Malvern Friars went to 2-6, and still had to complete a match against Haverford School and play a full match against Germantown Academy.
CHA lost to the Friars out in Malvern by the same score earlier this spring, but in that match the Devils had their regular number one, sophomore Sam Shropshire. Second in the USTA Middle States rankings in the 16’s division, Shropshire missed last week’s rematch because he had been playing at a juniors tournament down in Georgia.
CHA’s line-up has been far from a constant, anyway, with various injuries, illness and other complications forcing the Devils into a number of different alignments. Last week CHA was missing another regular singles player, senior Elliot Baxter, who had injured an ankle a few weeks earlier.
Nick DiDonato, a senior who’ll attend Drexel University, bumped up to the first singles position for last week’s Malvern match. Persevering amid the humidity at the indoor venue, he won a three-setter over visiting senior Chris Conway, 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 (10-8). CHA’s other victory was furnished by a freshman, Josh Moss, who won 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 over a second Malvern senior, Ian Kelleher.
The Friars had an upperclassman in the third singles slot, as well, and here Leo Parsons prevailed, 6-1, 6-2, against Chestnut Hill freshman Harrison Tracy.
Malvern swept the doubles bouts, starting with a 6-3, 6-0 win in the number one match, where sophomore twins Conor and Ryan Bradley knocked of CHA senior Peter Lynn and junior Crosby Harris. Friars juniors Ian McLarney and Jason Marra opened with a 7-5 win at second doubles, but Blue Devil sophomores Christian Dorff and Tim Ogle took the second stage, 6-4. Because of the length of the points in the first two rounds, the match was decided by a super tiebreaker, won 10-7 by Malvern.
The third doubles players got in three full sets, with Blue Devils senior Andrew Moss and sophomore Alex McCall succumbing, 0-6, 7-5, 5-7 to senior John Moran and sophomore Colin Sweeney of the Friars. At fourth doubles, freshman Brandon Butts and sophomore Nick Zimniski of Malvern teamed up for a 6-3, 6-2 win over a pair of CHA sophomores, Abe Bilger and Peter Vlahakis.