WOOD RIVER JUNCTION – The Chariho boys tennis team put an exclamation point on a long week of tennis as it soundly defeated Scituate Friday.
Playing their third match in three days, the Chargers did not look the least bit fatigued as they swept their opponent, 7-0, losing just one set in the process to close out the week a perfect 3-0.
“Very pleased,” said Chariho coach Lindsay Bliven. “Very happy with how the team played. They’ve had a few tough matches in a row.
“This is our third in a row this week, so I knew they were ready and had been playing well, but I was a little worried about their endurance. They didn’t let me down.”
Despite some early season struggles playing in the No. 1 singles spot, Junior Will Masse got things started in a big way for the Chargers as he easily handled Adam Annaldo 6-0, 6-0.
Senior Nick Brocato was the only Charger to lose a set – dropping the first in his match with Don Nguyen at No. 2 singles 7-5 – but the captain rebounded nicely by taking the second 6-3 and a third-set tiebreaker 10-5.
Sophomore Jason Darmanin – who has been the anchor on the singles ladder for the Chargers this season – jumped up a spot against Scituate to No. 3 singles.
Darmanin did not miss a beat playing up in competition, remaining undefeated on the season as he beat Jon DiLuglio, 6-0, 6-2.
“He’s very much a backboard,” Bliven said of the sophomore. “He’s very consistent, very patient. He knows when to approach the net and attack… He’s very athletic and he’s using his height. There’s really no way around him.”
Freshman Riley Masse stepped in at the No.4 spot to round out the singles team for Chariho.
Playing his first singles match, the younger Masse did not look at all out of place, running Scituate’s Keryn Birrel all over the court in a 6-2, 6-1 win.
It was a strong day for the Chariho singles players but the doubles teams once again overshadowed their performance.
Unlike many tennis teams in the state – whose talent tapers off farther down the ladder – the Chargers have been just as strong in doubles.
“Going into the season that was one thing I was very excited about, knowing how strong our doubles were,” Bliven said. “Two of our doubles teams are very experienced with each other.
“They’re playing very well, they communicate very well and they’ve had experience in doubles, so I was expecting that [success].”
The top doubles team of sophomores Nick Lecours and Chandler Scott remained nearly perfect on the season as they won 6-1, 6-3, earning praise from their coach from how they have improved their game from year one to year two.
“Chandler and Nick, especially,” Bliven said. “Now being sophomores, I feel like the first year they were a little nervous, maybe not as comfortable, so now they are playing more aggressive.”
Alex Ali and Nate Lukas, Chariho’s other returning doubles team from last season, played to a 6-2, 6-4 win against the Spartans, while Tyler Amaral and Jacob Desrosiers wrapped up the shutout with a 6-2, 6-1 in the final doubles match.
After a weekend off, Chariho went back to work on Tuesday and posted another 7-0 sweep over Toll Gate, moving to 7-1 on the season in Division II Suburban-A.
The Chargers will close out their week this afternoon as they travel to Woonsocket for a 4 p.m. match with Mount St. Charles.