Viking netmen qualify for state tournament

The Winthrop High boys tennis team has been on a roll of late, winning four of its last five matches, and with yesterday’s 3-2 triumph over Gloucester, the Vikings now have nine wins on the season which assures them of a berth in the post season state tournament.

“We now have won half of the matches on our schedule and can go to the tournament,” said WHS head coach Barbara Hoffmann. “I’m very excited and proud of this team.”

Although Winthrop lost at the first two singles slots, Alex Hamilton at No. 1 and Brendan FitzPatrick at No. 2, Jake Rand won by a forfeit.

That left it up to the Vikings’ doubles tandems who came though in strong fashion to put the match in the Winthrop win column. The first duo of Ryan McKinnon and Connor Brugman cruised with a straight set shutout, 6-0, 6-0, while the second doubles pairing of Stephen Ruggiero and Michael Reilly pulled out a 6-3, 7-5 triumph over their Gloucester counterparts.

“That last set was so close and was the determining match, and also of whether or not we got to the tournament,” said Hoffmann. “The score was 6-5 and Stephen was serving. The game went to deuce and stayed there for a while; it went back to deuce about six times before we finally got the winning point for the game, set, match, and tourney berth.”

On Monday the Vikings easily handled Lynn English, 5-0, despite the absence of Hamilton at the No. 1 spot.

FitzPatrick stepped up into the first slot and won handily, 6-1, 6-0. Rand was a shutout winner at second singles, 6-0, 6-0, and Brugman moved into third singles and was a the victor by a 6-1, 7-5 score.

In the doubles matches, Tyler Norris and Patrick Brogan triumphed, 6-2, 6-1, and McKinnon and Ruggiero dispatched their English rivals by a 6-1, 6-2 margin

Last Friday, Winthrop shut out Lynn Classical. Hamilton won at first singles, 6-3, 6-2; FitzPatrick at second, 6-2, 6-2; and McKinnon at third, 6-0, 6-3.

Norris and Brogan triumphed at first doubles, 6-3, 6-4, and Ruggiero and Brugman at second doubles, 6-1, 6-1.

Last Monday Winthrop edged Salem, 3-2. Winners were FitzPatrick at second singles, 6-1, 6-3; Rand at third singles, 6-2, 6-3; and Norris and Brogan at first doubles, 6-4, 7-5.

Winthrop was set to play Danvers yesterday (Wednesday), Swampscott this Monday, and Saugus next Wednesday.

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