NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - New Providence’s quest for a return to Mercer County Park for a chance at a coveted group title is almost complete, as the Pioneers continue their hot state run as the top seed, claiming their 3rd straight 5-0 victory to advance to the sectional final Monday afternoon.
After dominating 16th seeded Caldwell and 8th seeded Cedar Grove in the first two rounds, it was more of the same for the Pioneers as they didn’t drop a set across the board en route to their 3rd consecutive win in their 2019 playoff campaign.
Before they take on undefeated and 2nd seeded Leonia, they had to get past a determined Hasbrouck Heights side that came into this match after a thrilling 3-2 win over 4th seeded Verona.
The Pioneers quickly jumped out to a 2-0 lead with the 1st doubles tandem of David Caminiti and Max Ortiz-Ahedo dominated out of the gate, leading to a comfortable 6-0, 6-1 win.
Soon after the conclusion of that match, 3rd singles sophomore Nikhil Choudhary cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 victory giving the Pioneers a cushion.
The 2nd doubles pairing of Abhishek Agarwal and Will Krska clinched the semifinal for New Providence, as their 6-2, 6-0 win took the pressure off the top two singles for the Pioneers.
Despite having the match already locked up, 1st singles Sho Ogino edged out a tight first set, winning 7-5, and then took that momentum to capture a 6-2 second set triumph.
2nd singles was a back and forth affair in the 1st set, but Ethan Neidich of New Providence was able to run away with a first set tiebreak before dominating the second set, winning his match 7-6 (7-1), 6-1.
The Pioneers will look to return to West Windsor for the Group 1 semifinals for the first time since 2017 when they take on Leonia Monday afternoon at the New Providence Tennis Courts, weather permitting.