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Roxbury Latin Tennis wins first-ever New England Class B title

May 21, 2013

Roxbury Latin Varsity Tennis was invited for the eighth straight year—a noteworthy accomplishment—to compete in the New England Class B Tournament this past weekend. Every year, a committee selects the best tennis teams from Massachusetts and Connecticut to compete in the tournament, and RL was a finalist in 2006 and 2012. This weekend RL made the finals again: and the third time was a charm.

Coach Ousmane Diop reports:

RL was the #1 seed in the tournament, a first in RL history, and hosted the quarterfinal and the semifinal rounds of our half of the draw at the Beren Tennis Center at Harvard. It was a wonderful site for the tournament, and I thank Harvard University for letting us used their magnificent facilities. Roxbury Latin played against a familiar opponent in the quarterfinal—St. Paul’s. After winning the coveted doubles point (by winning two out of three doubles—doubles #1 with senior captains JB Gough and Cam Ferguson and doubles #2 with Joey Haig III and Christian O’Connor III) we started singles. Adam Haber I at #6 singles, Haig at #2 singles, and Andrew Wang II at #5 singles were leading in their matches, but wins from Gough at #1 singles, O’Connor at #3 singles and Ferguson at #4 singles gave us the remaining three points needed to move on to the semifinals. We faced Belmont Hill, another familiar opponent, which had just defeated Nobles.

Once again, our #1 doubles team (Gough and Ferguson) and doubles #2 team (Haig and O’Connor) played well and won their matches putting us ahead 1-0. Hamza Chaudhry III at #6 singles was the first to finish his singles match, giving us a 2-0 lead. While Gough was in a tough battle with Belmont Hill’s #1 singles player Carl Reid (one of the best players in the league and in New England), the-always-reliable Haig at #2 singles, O’Connor at #3 singles and Ferguson at #4 singles won their matches to give us a 5-0 victory and a place in the final against Brunswick, the #2 seed, at Taft the next day.

We left West Roxbury under a blue sky but as we got closer to Connecticut, the weather got progressively worse, which forced us to play the final indoors. This, however, did not dampen the team’s spirit. We started strong in doubles. RL’s #1 doubles team (Gough and Ferguson) was superb again and won easily. After our doubles #3 team (Tenzin Thargay II and Andrew Wang II) lost, it was up to our doubles #2 team (Haig and O’Connor) to try to give us the doubles point. Unfortunately, they came a little short and lost 6-8, which gave Brunswick a 1-0 lead over Roxbury Latin. We knew we were in a tough position: we needed to win at least 4 out of the 6 singles against an excellent Brunswick team to win the match, a daunting task. But we did it! It was a true team effort, and I could not be more proud of the players. Gough at #1 singles and Haig at #2 singles won in straight sets giving us a 2-1 lead. O’Connor at #3 singles gave his all but lost to a very experienced Brunswick player, which meant that Brunswick and RL were tied at 2 points each. After Wang won at #5 singles, we needed either Ferguson at #4 singles or Chaudhry at #6 singles to win for us to be victorious. Although Chaudhry was leading in his match, it was Ferguson who finished first, winning a nail biter third set 7-5 to crown us New England Champions. What a weekend!

My heartfelt thanks to Mr. Teixeira and Mr. Brennan for their continuous support, and especially to the players’ parents for making this tournament such a memorable experience for me and for the whole team.

Article and photo from Roxbury Latin website.