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OP Varsity Tennis Wrap UP

Luke Bernstein, Co-Editor

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Following the loss of five seniors, expectations were not high for this year’s tennis team. However, the team crushed their goals and finished strongly with a record of 12-7. The season started very well with five straight wins. They beat Arthur L. Johnson 3-2, Jonathan Dayton 4-1, Elizabeth 5-0, Plainfield 3-2, and Cranford 3-2 as well. Next up were two very strong teams from Scotch Plains Fanwood and Summit, both to which Oratory lost. OP lost 4-1 to Scotch Plains and 5-0 to Summit. They rebounded very well, however, with important victories against Hanover Park (3-2) and West Essex (4-1). New Providence, then, ended OP’s run with a 4-1 victory against Oratory to end April with a record of 7-3.

Varsity Tennis came back strong in the month of May with a 4-1 victory against Cranford. This euphoria was short-lived as Governor Livingston came to town the next day on May 3rd to wallop OP, 4-1. Roselle Park proved to be a great morale booster as the team won that match, 4-1. However, this was more important for the First Doubles team of Luke Bernstein and Mark Werner as this match snapped their seven-match losing streak. This was crucial as First Doubles had descended from 4-0 to 4-7, not a good run. Dayton then got their revenge on OP, beating us 5-0 as they acquired a superstar at First Singles who was not available for the first match. The last match before the biggest match of the year, the Non-Public A State Quarterfinal, was a great morale boosting match against Elizabeth. All five spots won easily which was a great way to go into the state tournament.

On May 14th, OP Varsity Tennis played an incredibly important State Tournament Match against St. Peter’s Prep. Going into the tournament, Oratory was the #3 seed and St. Peters was the #6 seed. This match went very well with OP winning 4-1. First Singles Ian Moore started out a bit inconsistent but eventually won 6-4, 6-0. Second Singles Drew St. Amant easily won 6-0, 6-2. Unfortunately, Freshman Will Moran was the only loss of the day with a loss to Christian Cunningham of SPP 6-3, 6-2. The First Doubles Team of Luke Bernstein and Mark Werner had the toughest match of the team going three sets. They won the first set easily (6-1), then fell apart in the second set losing it 3-6. The third set seemed to be going the same way as they were down 4-1 with no hopes of coming back. However, something seemed to click in their brains and they proceeded to win the next fives games while dropping only three points to win the match, 6-1, 3-6, 6-4. The Second Doubles team of Paul Topazio and Sebastian Gould wrapped up the successful day with a 6-2, 6-3 victory. This great victory set OP up for a Semifinal match against Delbarton.

This Delbarton match on May 17th was unsuccessful as every spot lost pretty quickly with the entire match taking about 45 minutes. Only Third Singles and First Doubles took one game of their opponents in their respective matches. This misery was compounded the next day when Governor Livingston beat OP 5-0. Ian Moore had a six-hour dental procedure which meant he was unable to participate in the match and Drew St. Amant was MIA, meaning Will Moran had to play First Singles, Sebastian Gould had to play Second Singles, and Luke Bernstein played Third Singles.  

Unfortunately, the OP Varsity Tennis Team did not finish on a high note with a devastating loss of 3-2 to conference rivals Arthur L. Johnson. This was not the great ending the team hoped for, yet OP tennis still finished above .500 with a record of 11-8. On the season Senior Captain Ian Moore finished with a record of 10-5 as he did not play in some of the matches. Coach Mike Manna’s final words on the season were, “Well, I can’t believe it, but you managed to defy expectations.” Thank you to Coach Manna, occasional away match coach, Mr. Sinden, and Captain Ian Moore for a great season. Good Luck Seniors Thomas Paglinco and Ian Moore. Great Work OP Tennis!!!

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