SPOTSWOOD, NJ - The Spotswood High School boys varsity tennis team finally finished a match against Middlesex High School that they began on April 30. Playing with a revamped lineup, the Chargers were up 2-0 in the match when the clouds opened up and the rain began to fall.
Freshman Derek Miller had dropped the first set in his first second singles match, but fought back to take the second set (7-5) to even the score. Miller was playing the second singles position since Spotswood's regular second singles player, Robby Nason, was performing that evening in the annual Mr. Spotswood competition. Nason would be named the first runner up.
With the rain picking up in intensity, both coaches made the decision to suspend play. Jake Engstrom had already defeated Middlesex' Huy Truong in straight sets (6-0, 6-3). John Tobia made his singles debut at the third singles position. Tobia usually plays first doubles for the Chargers. The sophomore quickly dispatched Justin Dela Cruz (6-2, 6-1) for the win.
Miller and both doubles teams took the court on Tuesday, May 10 to finish the match.
Matt Evanego made his varsity debut in the match, pairing with Stephen Gardner at the second doubles position. The pair lost to Kurt Vogl and Anthony Harnandan in straight sets (6-0, 6-0).
Freshman Ryan Miller moved up to the first doubles position for this match, playing with regular first doubles player, Dushyant Singh. Singh and Miller had already dropped the first set (6-2) and were losing the second when the match was suspended. When the match resummed, the pair battled back to force the second set to a tie-break. They won the tie-breaker, (7-1), but then lost the decisive third set, (6-3).
Derek Miller took the court with the match even at one set apiece in his second singles match up with Daniel Newton. Newton took the first set (6-4) and Miller grabbed the second (7-5). Miller prevailed in the third set though it would go all the way to a tie-breaker. The freshman won the tie-breaker (7-4) to seal the victory for Spotswood. The win improved the Chargers' overall record on the season to 8-7.
Middlesex and Spotswood split the season series. The Blue Jays took the match earlier in the season. On Thursday, May 12, the two teams will meet again in the first round of the NJSIAA Group One Tournament.
The match will take place at Middlesex High School at 4 p.m. The winner of the match will move on to face Highland Park High School in the next round of the tournament.