by Tom Utescher
With rain clearing out of the area just after lunchtime last Wednesday, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and Germantown Friends could’ve played their scheduled boys’ tennis match that afternoon. Instead, it was moved back a day, and fortunately the two teams were able to finish up before the next round of rain arrived early Thursday evening.
Winning all but the second singles match in a 6-1 decision, the host SCH Blue Devils evened out their season record at 1-1.
While last Thursday’s tilt was the season opener for GFS, Springside Chestnut Hill had already taken on another Friends Schools League squad, falling 1-6 to defending league champ Friends Central. The Blue Devils have most of their personnel back from 2013, missing only one doubles player out of the regular starters from a year ago.
GFS, on the other hand, is in more of a rebuilding mode, having lost four of its top five players from 2013 (two graduated, one relocated, and one switched to another spring sport). In addition, for last week’s debut in Chestnut Hill the Tigers found themselves without seniors Neil Singh, Matthew Fichandler and Morris Sachs-Smith, who were off on college visits.
The lone senior on last year’s SCH team had been paired at first doubles with current 12th-grader Harrison Tracy, who has now moved into the second singles spot. He completed his match quickly last Thursday, winning 6-2, 6-0, over sophomore Si Affron, a new student at GFS.
While the other two singles bouts took longer to play out, the short-staffed Tigers had to forfeit at the fourth doubles position, and Blue Devil duos prevailed in the three matches that took place.
SCH freshman Chris Dalglish and Dartmouth-bound senior Brian Giegerich, who played together at second doubles last season, moved up to the premier position, and took the measure of Tigers juniors Aaron Yang and Jesse Overholser, 6-0, 6-2.
The number two tandem of sophomore Wyatt Smith and freshman Luke Stauffer stopped two more GFS juniors, Grant Kelly and Owen Burns, 6-3, 6-0. Smith and Stauffer also won in the earlier meeting with Friends Central, preventing a shutout of SCH by the Phoenix. At third doubles, Blue Devil juniors Matt Giegerich and Garrison Xian put up a 6-0, 6-1 score against sophomore Silas Shah and freshman Jeremy Berman of the visiting side.
SCH number one Josh Moss, a senior headed to Connecticut College, played the same spot for the Blue Devils a year ago. Matt Peterson, a junior who has moved up from the second spot on the GFS ladder, topped Moss 6-3, 6-0 in a bout that featured a number of extended points.
This, however, was nothing compared to the marathon at third singles, where juniors Jay Regam (SCH) and Evan Zaret (GFS) had at it.
Regam prevailed in a tiebreaker to grind out a 7-6 win in the opening set, and in the second set he eventually closed out Zaret, 7-5, long after everyone else had cleared off the courts.