Pittsfield boys tennis sweeps Central in W. Mass. D-I opener
SPRINGFIELD -- The turnaround season for the Pittsfield High School boys tennis team continues on.
The Generals swept Springfield Central 5-0 on Thursday afternoon, losing just one set all day, to advance to the Western Mass. Division I semifinal round.
"It was a great win for us," Pittsfield coach John Clarno said. "[Central] put up a great effort with a lot of long and close matches, so this is a win we can be really satisfied with."
Pittsfield, which was seeded ninth at 5-5 after finishing last season with just two wins, will travel on Saturday to take on top-seeded Longmeadow at 3:30 p.m. after winning what essentially amounted to a play-in game against No. 8 Central.
"There's not too much you can say [about Longmeadow] except they're really deep and it's going to be a tough match," No. 1 singles player Tom Cimini said. "But I think we can do pretty well if we play our best."
Cimini will most likely be matched up against Longmeadow's No. 1 Ross Kamin, who defeated the Pittsfield star 6-0, 6-1 in the Western Mass. individual tournament on his way to the singles crown.
Pittsfield jumped out to an early lead over the Golden Eagles when the first doubles team of Garrett Dempsey and Brian Desrosiers defeated Kevin Mulcahey and Jevon Ramsey in straight sets 6-3, 6-2.
Cimini followed with a strong performance to defeat Central's Ian Patriarca at No. 1 singles, 6-2, 6-4.
"My shot and my ground strokes were definitely working today. My serves weren't all that great in the second set, but I was able to get it back," he said.
Having played Patriarca three times prior this year, including in the Western Mass. individual tournament, Cimini said he had a good idea what to expect and was able to compensate.
"I knew he had a big serve, so it wasn't too surprising and I could prepare myself for that, especially in that first set," he said.
The No. 2 doubles team of Austin Pedercini and Michael Gimlewicz secured the victory for the Generals by defeating Biraj Adhikari and Jonathon Arroyo 6-3 in the first set, then coming from behind to win the final three games and take the second set 7-5.
Evan Dempsey finished shortly thereafter, dispatching of Cameron Ford 6-3, 6-4.
"This has been a developmental season and it really starts with Evan, who is a really strong freshman. He's going to be a guiding person for this team through the years, especially since we're losing our top player in Tom Cimini," Clarno said. "Evan has had a very accomplished year, especially when you consider he's had a tough draw playing a lot of seniors and juniors."
Kaleb Hould finished off the sweep with a hard-fought three-set battle with Ryan Thorpe, winning the final two sets after falling in the first, 1-6, 6-4, 7-5.
"Kaleb really gutted that one out, just like he always does," Clarno said. "One way or the other, he always seems to find a way to get that ball back over one more time."
Singles -- 1. Tom Cimini (P) def. Ian Patriarca 6-2, 6-4; 2. Evan Dempsey (P) def. Cameron Ford 6-3, 6-4; Kaleb Hould (P) def. Ryan Thorpe 1-6, 6-4, 7-5. Doubles -- 1. Garrett Dempsey/Brian Desrosiers (P) def. Kevin Mulcahey/Jevon Ramsey 6-3, 6-2; Austin Pedercini/Michael Gimlewicz (P) def. Biraj Adhikari/Jonathan Arroyo 6-3, 7-5.