Boys Tennis: This Time, A Win Over NK in State Final, 4-3

by | Jun 2, 2024

Above: D2 State Champs!

On a hot, sunny Saturday in Slater Park, the East Greenwich Avengers lived up to their name by avenging last year’s championship loss to NK Skippers. During the regular season, EG defeated NK 4-3 on May 8. The championship was as close – exactly as close – but with points coming from different positions in the ladder. A lot can happen in three weeks. After the last regular season match of the year, Doubles 2 player, Aaron Garrian, suffered a hand fracture and he missed the entire playoff season. Doubles state finalist Liam Levy feared he had fractured a rib and pulled a pectoral muscle in an extracurricular wrestling tournament over Memorial Day weekend. Thankfully the fracture proved to be a bad bruise: Liam would need more than that to sideline him for the semis and finals, though he had to sit for the Quarters. That and a popped shoulder and the general wear-and-tear of a season with temperatures that start in the low 40s and finish in the 80s, sent the Avengers to Pawtucket with much more to overcome than the height of the net.   

“It had been a challenging season, despite the undefeated record. Many matches were competitive along the way, particularly those versus Middletown, East Providence and N.K. Though some competitors had some real heavyweights on their team, EG is blessed with a very deep squad and one that has a lot of parity among them. So when we needed to overcome injuries, or when we needed to figure out some different pairings in doubles to account for freshman David Levy’s ascension into the singles line up, we were able to still come up with the goods,” said Coach Salvadore. “Today’s match came down to David Levy at 4 singles. Both the Levy brothers have a lot of heart and love for the game. After the brothers advanced to the finals in the Doubles State Championships, the David got a taste of playing under pressure-packed circumstances.  This served him well in closing out the victory today.”  

The nerves almost got him as matches were finishing on all sides of him and there appeared to be more and more people surrounding his court. Even though Levy was up,  6-2, 4-1, NK’s Owen Taegen wasn’t rolling over for him. In fact 4-1, became 4-2, 4-3, 4-4, 5-4, 5-5, until David was able to close it out 7-5. EG also brought in points at 1 Singles with straight set victory Henry Seeley over Charlie Lawton 6-2, 6-1; 3 Singles, Aristo Liu, who remained undefeated brought last year’s heartbreaking “undefeated wall” Andrew Neville down 6-2 6-2. 

The Doubles 2 victory was extra sweet, as it featured the same duo who lost the fourth and final point in last year’s finals versus the Skippers. 

“We learn from our mistakes. We get fired up at the opportunity to close the chapter on that old story line,” quipped Assistant Coach Alexander Sack, as Dynamic Duo Liam Levy and Ravi Vishnu took their match 6-3 6-1.

This was a sweet season – undefeated and with the championship. Coach Alex would fire them up during conditioning with the fact that his 2019 EGHS team was undefeated and earned a state championship. He will need to come up with some new inspiration on those tough conditioning workouts. The squad looks poised to continue to flourish as we send off only one senior, beloved by all, Captain Big Ben Neimark.

Henry Seeley, who won his match at #1 Singles. Photo by Chuck Nadeau

Ben Neimark at #2 Singles. Photo by Chuck Nadeau

Aristo Lui at #3 Singles. Photo by Chuck Nadeau

Freshman David Levy (at #4 Singles) provided the fourth win of the match Saturday. Photo by Chuck Nadeau

Henry Seeley hits a forehand. Photo by Chuck Nadeau

Duncan Kling and Rajeev Sen playing at #1 Doubles. Photo by Chuck Nadeau

EG Boys Tennis coaches Marisa Salvadore (head coach) and Alexander Sack (assistant). Photo by Chuck Nadeau

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