Belchertown Takes Western Mass Title at Lee
LEE, Mass. -- Two years ago, a very young Lee boys tennis team dropped a sectional title contest to Belchertown.
On Wednesday, a still young Wildcat squad did the same.
“We had a great year,” Lee coach John Perry said after the Orioles took a 4-1 win in the Western Massachusetts Division 3 final. “We were looking forward to playing Belchertown. They’re a great program. And we thought we were going to get ‘em today, but they had other plans for us.”
After second-seeded Belchertown (10-1) took the match with straight-set wins at third singles and both doubles matches, Christopher Petrescu and Matthew Petrescu battled valiantly to avoid the shutout.
At second singles, Matthew Petrescu went to a super tie-breaker against Thomas Vinagre to win, 6-4, 3-6, 13-11.
At first singles, Belchertown’s Benjamin Schrenzel outlasted Christopher Petrescu, 6-2, 7-6 (7-1), in the final match to leave the court.
Christopher Petrescu, one of just three seniors on the squad, said battling was nothing new for the squad.
“We ended up going through tough times during COVID, and we didn’t really know what was going to happen,” he said. “Most of the fall sports got canceled, and then winter sports got canceled, and we didn’t really have time to prepare our bodies and get training and get fit.
“But, luckily, we had some spring sports, and we got here.”
The team’s other two seniors, Gabe Kelley and Jim Purcell, dropped a 6-2, 6-3 decision to Joe Bianco and Kiernan Corish at No. 2 doubles.
The Belchertown first doubles team of Colby Masse and Carson Boscher earned a 6-1, 6-0 win over Mason Mihlek and Josh Perrier. The Orioles’ Trevor Weiss defeated Cooper Maloney, 6-1, 6-3.
Cooper, Kelley and the two Petrescus each were on the court the last time Lee played Belchertown two years ago. And two players from that group will return in 2022 as the Wildcats make another bid to get over the hump in the sectional.
“We’re losing our first singles player, Chris, and our second doubles,” Perry said. “Everybody else will be coming back. So we’ve got a good group which has developed well.
“Everybody who played in that match two years ago was on the team this year. Some of those kids didn’t make the lineup for today, but they’re still a part of the program.”