TRENTON, NJ - At the prestigious Mercer County Park, Newark Academy blew past Non-Public B South champions Moorestown Friends to earn the overall Non-Public B crown. With the 5-0 victory, Newark Academy advances to the New Jersey Tournament of Champions, in which they expect to receive the two seed.
Newark Academy, 21-5 on the season, has posted impressive results since the return of Senior Om Pathak. With wins over multiple Star Ledger Top 20 teams, including teams ranked in the top five, the Minutemen are playing their best tennis of the year.
“It’s not how you start the year that matters,” sophomore Reid Schalet said. “It’s how you finish it.” Schalet, who with Adam Hyatt comprises the N.A. second doubles team, defeated Moorestown Friends’ Austin Harris and Karan Hiremath 6-0, 6-1. Hyatt and Schalet are in excellent form and are also gearing up for the individual state doubles tournament.
On the first of the stadium courts, Newark’s first singles Dan Eatroff handily dispatched Luke Timber 6-0, 6-0. Eatroff, securing the Minutemen’s second point of the day, denied Timber even the chance to get a rhythm going. With quick serves, and a deadly forehand, Eatroff had won the first set within the first twenty minutes of play.
Senior first doubles team Neil Sethi and Om Pathak netted the third and championship-clinching point with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Moorestown Friends’ Jarret Berkowitz and Eric Harkaway. Utilizing Pathak’s heavy topspin kick serve to the backhand, Sethi darted around the court—poaching volleys left and right—and brought the Non-Public B trophy back to Newark Academy.
With the overall match only won a few minutes earlier, Newark Academy second singles Andre Rivera defeated Dave White 6-0, 6-0, assuring the Minuteman of four points in the state finals. White, despite the score, played an excellent match in the first set—getting to Rivera forehand bombs that would have been winners on any other day. But with Rivera consistently blasting shots with that much pace, it’s easy to see why he’s one of the top second singles players in New Jersey.
On court seventeen, Logan Erickson sealed the 5-0 Newark Academy win, overpowering Moorestown Friends’ Jake Brown 6-2, 6-3. Erickson, a sophomore singles player, played with the maturity of a senior; he seemed to get even better as the points got tighter.
“I’m proud of our team,” Daniel Eatroff said about winning the Non-Public B State Championship. “We made it to the Tournament of Champions, and we’re looking forward to competing with the best teams in the state.”
While twenty teams opened the day with a chance to earn a berth in the be-all end-all of tournaments, only six teams will receive one. Newark Academy, who some cast off in the early stages of the spring due to injuries and experimental lineups, is looking stronger than ever.
As Reid Schalet said while holding up the State Championship trophy, “I’m proud to be a Minuteman.”