CONWAY — The Kennett High boys’ tennis team ran into a veteran group of Falcons and saw the season come to an end in the opening round of the Division II tournament in Bow on May 27. The Falcons topped the Eagles 9-0 to advance to the state quarterfinals.
“Tough day at Bow,” said Jason Cicero, Eagles’ head coach. “Their program is at the next level where we hope to be in a few years.”
The New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association adopted an open tournament format with tennis this spring due to the coronavirus, allowing schools to play a regional schedule and out of the division.
Teams were placed into four regional clusters for the playoffs. There were four teams in the Region 2 cluster. Kennett (6-4 with three matches canceled due to COVID-19) along with Bow, Kingswood, and Lebanon were placed in Region 2. All four schools were placed into a hat and drawn at random for seedings and home teams.
As luck would have it, Kennett drew the No. 4 seed and had to travel to Bow (5-1) to play the Falcons, the No. 1 seeds.
Lebanon (6-0), the No. 2 seed, host No. 3 Kingswood (3-5) also on May 27 and won 9-0.
In singles, Dominik Jurcins (Bow) def. Sam Alkalay 8-1 at No. 1; Hunter Duncan (Bow) def. Camden Bailey 8-2 at No. 2; Colby Smith (Bow) def. Spencer Ogren 8-5 at No. 3; Noah Leuchtenberger (Bow) def. Andrew Fournier 8-0 at No. 4; Aiden Munroe (Bow) def. Jake Young 8-0 at No. 5; and Oliver Doleino (Bow) def. Martin Lockhart 8-0 at No. 6.
In doubles, Jurcins/ Duncan def. Alkalay/Bailey 8-5 at No. 1; Smith/Munroe def. Ogren/Fournier 8-3 at No. 2; and Leuchtenberger/Doleino def. Young/Grant Barahona 8-6 at No. 3.
“Our top three put up good battles in singles, as did Sam and Cam at No. 1 doubles, but they were just too strong and deep in the end,” Cicero said.
Lebanon went to beat Bow 8-1 on June 1 in Bow to advance to the state semifinals. In the semifinals, held at Bedford High School, Lebanon beat Souhegan 8-1 and Portsmouth topped Pembroke Academy 9-0 last Thursday to advance to the finals.
In the championships, again held at Bedford High School on Saturday, Lebanon (10-0) topped Portsmouth (17-1) 7-2 to win the title.
Alkalay, the lone senior on this year’s team, completed the regular season undefeated in singles and doubles at 22-0.
“Looking forward to the summer Advantage Kids program and the match play program at the high school,” Cicero said. “We’ll have good talent coming up starting next year!”