Mount Greylock Boys Drop First Match in State Semi-finals
WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- It came down to the No. 2 singles match between Western Massachusetts Champion Mount Greylock's Will Nolan and Central Mass Champ Whitinsville-Christian's Owen Brookhouse to decide which team would go to the State Finals in Wednesday afternoon's semi-final match at West Springfield High School.
Brookhouse prevailed with a hard forehand shot for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 win to give his team a point, a 3-2 victory and a trip to Friday's Division 3 State Final.
Nolan described it in one word after the match: "Unlucky."
The senior, who came in not feeling 100 percent after experiencing stomach bug symptoms all day had the weight on his shoulders with the team score tied at two.
"It was unlucky that it came down to that," Nolan said. "I knew our doubles were strong, so I knew we had to take one of the singles if we wanted to win the match and so far I hadn't lost a match so I was hoping I'd be able to keep the streak going, but going in not one-hundred percent, that proved to be pretty difficult."
Mount Greylock's Josh Narey fell in No. 3 singles giving Whit-Christian the lead, 1-0, but Mount Greylock's No. 2 doubles tandem, Matt Wiseman and Brady Foehl quickly tied it at one after going 6-3, 6-2 in their match.
No. 1 doubles wasn't far behind. Jake Foehl and Gray Kaegi put Greylock ahead 2-1 after winning 6-4, 6-1.
"Doubles; I was fully confident they'd pull out their matches, I expected them to be straight sets also," Mount Greylock coach Stephen Bryant said. "They're just full of energy, they're pumped up every second of their match and from what I saw with the first doubles it didn't surprise me.
"They did get a little nervous closing out the first set, but it was a huge moment and it was expected. Second doubles picked their game up."
Jake Foehl and Kaegi held the lead throughout their first set, going ahead 3-2 and then extending it to 5-2, but Whit-Christian's Jos Cook and Spencer Gorman didn't back down and won two straight games to make it 5-4 before Foehl and Kaegi closed the set. They then controlled the second set all the way to close the match.
Ben Koopman tied it up for Whit-Christian in No. 1 singles, beating Mount Greylock's Nyien Soe 6-2, 6-2 and putting the fate in the hands of Nolan and Brookhouse.
Nolan won the first set 6-4 and had a 4-3 lead in the second, but Brookhouse came back to win it 6-4, bringing it into a third set.
After a 10-minute break, Nolan split the first two games, but then Brookhouse took control.
Nolan was aware from early on in his first set that his match was going to be the deciding factor; he pushed through and did all that Bryant asked of him to end their season.
"It was tough because the way he was feeling, he just had nothing in him," Bryant said. "I told to just keep fighting and digging deep, play tough for each point and I told him as long as he fought hard throughout the match, win or lose I would still be happy, as long as he stayed tough."
"And he did, he didn't give up. He stuck in it and I told him that just getting to the state semis was a huge accomplishment for us, and we should all feel proud about just getting here and having an undefeated season up until today."