Division 3 boys tennis: Mount Greylock rally sinks Belchertown for 3rd straight year



Published: 06-09-2017 9:35 PM

LEE — Belchertown coach Zach Siano called Jonathan Vinagre, Denis Lelic and Alec Morgado to the fence.

“This is the spot we want to be in,” he told them.

Noah Pare just clinched a win at No. 3 singles to put the Belchertown boys tennis team one point away from the Division 3 Western Massachusetts title.

The top-seeded Orioles’ three seniors were still on court and up a set at both No. 1 singles and No. 2 doubles against No. 3 Mount Greylock.

Greylock rallied at both positions to beat Belchertown 3-2 and claim its third straight sectional title.

“If you would have told me this coming into today, I would have been the happiest guy in the world,” Siano said. “This was a great spot for us to be in. We just let it slip through.”

The Mounties (12-2) beat Belchertown (20-3) in all three.

“We’ve come into this the last two years as the underdogs, I thought we were the favorites today,” Siano said. “We had multiple match points in this to close this out and we did not seal the deal.”

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The outcome of the match and the title rested on the third set at No. 1 singles between Vinagre and Greylock sophomore Jacob Fink. Vinagre won the first set 6-2 and led 5-3 in the second set. He was up 40-30 in that game. Fink refused to fall, forcing deuce and rallying to take the second set 7-5.

“He played great tennis. He was consistent and had great strokes,” Vinagre said. “There’s nothing you can do when he plays that well. You just have to go out there and give it your best.”

In the 10-minute break between the second and third sets, Greylock tied the match at 2-2 with its win at No. 1 doubles as Toby Foehl and Sam Dils beat Dennis Lelic and Alec Morgado 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.

“Alec and Dennis seemed to hold back. They seemed to be nervous on some of their strokes. They weren’t playing as consistent as they have been,” Siano said. “All the fundamentals that we went into today with evaporated in the closing third of this match, and our untimely undoing was tied to that.”

The loss shifted the pressure of a sectional championship to Set 3 between Vinagre and Fink.

Vinagre stretched his neck sitting on the grass drinking Gatorade.

“I wanted to be in this position. I wanted to be there for my team,” Vinagre said. “It was a battle.”

They traded games initially before Fink built a 3-1 lead. It stretched to 4-2, and Fink closed it out 6-3.

Vinagre hit his shot long to end the match. Fink slid to the court on his back as soon as he realized it was out of play and stretched out like a starfish.

“You try to stay mentally strong. You have to stay positive,” Fink said. “I don’t know if I can say I would have won without all these people there (in the crowd).”

Before Siano’s speech to his seniors, Pare beat Josh Nare 6-3, 6-1 at No. 3 singles.

That followed a Belchertown win at No. 2 doubles. Nolan Vogel and Mike Laughner got the Orioles on the board with a 6-1, 6-3 win over Gabe Gerry and Luke Swann.

Greylock claimed the match’s first point when Brady Foehl beat Cyrus Raines 6-2, 6-1 at No. 2 singles.

It was the final match for Belchertown’s seniors: Lelic, Morgado and Vinagre.

“I know it’s going to fall on them, it’s going to sit on them, it’s going to eat at them, but it shouldn’t,” Siano said. “They’ve had a great season. They’ve had a great run.”

It also marks the end of the first iteration of ‘Lob City.’ Lelic and Morgado adopted the moniker, borrowing from the Los Angeles Clippers, to describe their doubles play style. It spread to represent Belchertown’s program over the past few years, and their team Twitter account bears the title.

“Those three seniors, especially Alec and Dennis, are Lob City,” Siano said. “They’re finishing as Lob City here, and we’re going to keep it going.”

Mount Greylock 3, Belchertown 2

at Lee Middle/High School

First singles: Jacob Fink (MG) def. Jon Vinagre 2-6, 7-5, 6-3; Second singles: Brady Foehl (MG) def. Cyrus Raines 6-2, 6-1; Third singles: Noah Pare (B) def. Josh Narey, 6-3, 6-3; First doubles: Toby Foehl & Sam Dils (MG) def. Alec Morgado & Dennis Lelic, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 Second doubles: Mike Laughner & Nolan Vogel (B) def. Gabriel Gerry & Luke Swann, 6-1, 6-3;

Records: Belchertown (21-3) Mount Greylock (12-1)

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski @gazettenet.com.