WOODBRIDGE, NJ - The Spotswood High School boys varsity tennis team played two matches during their school's spring break week with a tweaked lineup. The absence of second singles player, John Tobia, moved third singles player Josh Mathew up to second and gave doubles player Ryan Miller the opportunity to see action at the third singles spot. Senior Umar Kattak got the chance to make his varsity debut at second doubles this week as well.
On Wednesday, April 12, the team dodged rain drops before losing a tight-fought, five-hour marathon match, 3-2, to Dunellen High School. The match result came down to the first doubles duo of Matt Evanego and Stephen Gardner again. The pair easily won the first set, (6-2), over Angelo Facciponti-Mennella and Sharfaraz Noor. However, Facciponti-Mennella and Noor battled back in an exciting match to take the second set in a tie-breaker, winning (8-6). With both teams watching and the match knotted at two wins apiece, Facciponti-Mennella and Noor prevailed, winning the pivotal third set, (6-4).
The Chargers rebounded from the difficult loss on Thursday, April 14 by winning their away match up with Woodbridge High School, 5-0. First singles player Derek Miller capped off a successful week by defeating the Barrons Carlos Idrovo in straight sets, (7-5, 6-4). The sophomore also beat Dunellen's Jason Vallejo, (6-4, 6-0). Mathew lost his first second singles match in a back and forth duel with Dunellen's George Lescano, (6-3, 6-4). However, the sophomore bounced back against Woodbridge, defeating Vishal Shah in straight sets, (6-3, 6-3). Ryan Miller also had a stellar week, seeing action at the third singles position. Miller defeated Dunellen's Shayne Heluk in a tight, straight set victory, winning (7-5, 7-6). The sophomore took the second set tie breaker, (7-1) to win his first singles match. Miller needed three sets to defeat Woodbridge's Aayush Sharma, (6-4, 5-7, 6-1).
After dropping another tough match in a tie-breaker to Dunellen, Spotswood's first doubles team of Evanego and Gardner again found themselves in a three-setter against Woodbridge. However, this time the Chargers team came out on top, winning (6-1, 6-7, 6-2) over Woodbridge's Malik George and Thomas Nettle to grab their first individual win of the season.
Spotswood's second doubles team of Mike Kaczmarski and Kattak lost a difficult three set match to Dunellen's Frank Mendieta and Harrison Cabrera earlier in the week. However, they too bounced back against Woodbridge to defeat Miles George and Lucas Hrabkowsky, (6-2, 6-1).
With one win and one loss over break, the Chargers evened their overall season record at 2-2. The team has a busy week once school reopens with four matches and the Greater Middlesex County Tournament on tap. Their first match of the week will be at Middlesex High School on Monday, April 17. Start time is at 4 p.m.