HHS Boys Tennis Win Back To Back Central MA Titles

Christopher Tremblay, Staff Sports Writer
Issue Date: 
July, 2018
Article Body: 

Entering the season having lost four seniors as well as their coach from last year’s Division 3 Central Championship team, first year boy’s tennis coach Ryan Mulry was just looking to build upon what Hopedale had already built. However losing four of the seven starters that made an impressive run through the tournament didn’t look all that comforting for the new coach.
The Blue Raiders finished the regular season 12-4 capturing the Dual Valley Conference while earning themselves a four seed. Leaving the new skipper looking good as the team ventured into its sixth straight tournament appearance.
“After losing four starters did I think it was possible to get back to the tournament? Honesty, I kind of thought that we had a chance,” the Hopedale tennis coach said. “Once the post-season arrived the team had a new found confidence and didn’t want to go home. We continued to practice hard and I told them that any given moment could mean banquet season.”
Getting to the Championship match to defend its title was much easier than expected. Hopedale cruised through the tournament with 5-0 wins over both Littleton and Sutton before knocking off rival Whitinsville Christian 3-2 to win back-to-back Division 3 Central Titles.
Through the past six years the Blue Raiders and Crusaders have been inter-tangled in the Sectionals. Hopedale, who is 72-17 in the regular season over that time span, has hooked up with WC in five of the six years. In 2013, the first year of the current run, Hopedale fell to WC 4-1 in the Semi’s; the next season the two schools didn’t meet in the tournament, but the following four years the two teams renewed their rivalry in the tournament.
WC defeated Hopedale 3-2 in the Semi’s in 2015, then 3-2 in the Sectional Championship Match the next year, before the Blue Raiders took the Sectional Championship 3-2 last year. This year Hopedale kept the trophy at home with a 4-1 win over the Crusaders.
“Coming into the season I really didn’t know a lot, but the one thing that I did know was that Whitinsville and Hopedale was a big deal,” the new Coach said. “After finally taking it away from them last year, the kids were not willing to give it back.”
During the season Hopedale was 2-0 against their rival taking a 4-1 win at home and squeezing out a 3-2 win at WC.
Anything can happen on any given day and Hopedale showed that to be true as each and every one of its racketeers gave it their all throughout the entire regular season into the Sectionals.
The team got incredible play from its singles players. Sophomore Jack Figgins played first singles and played admirably. Although only a sophomore Figgins really stepped his game up and was named the Dual Valley Conferences Player of the Year. Captain Matt Constanza, who was originally slated to play first singles before his injury, couldn’t regain his number one slot the way Figgins was playing and ended up at second singles while Ben Tammaro rounded out the singles players in the third singles position.
Although Tammaro was playing in his first season on the team he recorded a 15-4 record and didn’t even try out for the team right away.
“A week before the season started Ben was actually on the baseball roster and at the last minute decided to try out for the tennis team,” Mulry said. “I really didn’t know much about him or what to expect. He had unbelievable confidence, was very athletic and never wanted to lose and he showed it once he walked onto the court. He won his first match and was off and running.”
The first doubles team was centered around Gabe Terando who found himself consistently playing with a different partner during the regular season, but come tournament time he was paired with Ben Tahmoush. Ben’s younger brother Jackson was teamed with Wes Rodrigues at second doubles during the tournament run.