The New Canaan boys tennis team could not slow down FCIAC power Staples Monday, as the Wreckers moved to 8-0 overall with a resounding sweep of the Rams. Staples took all five singles matches, none of which went to a third set, and later claimed each of the doubles matchups.
"New Canaan has always been a big rival or ours," said Staples co-captain Luke Forman, who defeated Digby Philpott in the No. 2 singles match. "Four years back, they took us down in the FCIAC finals, and ever since then we've had their number. So it is nice to come out today and get the win."
So far, New Canaan (5-3 overall and FCIAC) has endured a severe up and down season. Excluding their season opener against Fairfield Ludlowe, a 4-3 win, the Rams have either shutout their opponent or have lost every match. Staples, meanwhile, has won every contest 7-0 with the exception of its 6-1 win over Westhill.
And on Monday, the Rams, like others before them, simply could not find answers to the Wreckers' consistent and disciplined approach. In each match, Staples managed to routinely notch crucial points.
Still, New Canaan feels it has learned from the experience.
"I believe we can come back a lot stronger," said New Canaan co-captain Andrew Penchuk, who played in the No. 1 doubles match. "Every match may not dictate on the scoreline, but we were in every one. It is still early in the season, and we are learning about our team."
Both doubles matches provided the majority of fireworks on the afternoon. Teamed with Alex Merjian in the top doubles match, Penchuk faced Josh Moskovitz and Jack Reardon, who were paired together for the first time this season. The Wreckers dominated the first set 6-2, but the Ram duo bounced back to take the middle set 6-3, before falling just short, 4-6, in the third.
The No. 2 doubles contest, pitting New Canaan's Brian Huff and Jack O'Connor against Staples' Jason Chaskin and Sterling , was equally gripping. Following a 6-4 opening set win for the Wreckers, the match was decided on a 7-6 tiebreaker that eventually tipped in favor of the home squad.
"Staples' level of excellence is something we are striving for," said first-year Rams coach Ben Young. "I think some of the scores didn't showcase how close some of the matches were. Some of our players were grinding and having trouble closing out a game, but we're definitely moving in the right direction. This a transition year, we are a younger team, so all these experiences are invaluable to us."
Over at No. 1 singles, Zack Levin of Staples defeated Spencer Lambdin 6-1, 6-2, while the Wreckers' Will Andrews took down Michael Harnett 6-3, 6-1 in the No. 3 singles match. On the No. 4 court, Staples' Connor Mitnick beat Kyle Mettler 6-1, 6-2, and Baxter Stein prevailed over the Rams' Patrick Hompe in the no. 5 singles, 6-4, 6-1.