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A win with some history

Posted Monday, March 28, 2011 by Coach Cavanagh

 The North Babylon Bulldogs emerged from the bus sporting the classic blue and white jerseys., a jersey that was once worn by Connetquot head coach Ryan Cavanagh some twenty years ago. "Playing against the old blue and white is something that is near and dear to my heart" said Cavanagh "It is a match that I feel is important to win, a match that represents a lot of history to me." Well the Connetquot kids needed little motivation to take the courts on Monday with hopes to avenge last week's disappointing results at the hands of two of Suffolk Counties finest. 


The wind seemed to be blowing at upwards of 30 miles an hour at times as it hoped to destroy any hopes of clean match play on this day. And while several of the matches were very slow starting Fourth singles player and captain David Hahn was not going to allow any weather to hinder his chance at setting the tone for his teammates. He quickly grabbed the first set 6-1 and was even more powerful in the second as he did not drop a game. "David was clearly on a mission today" noted Coach Cav " he was smart, and explosive when he needed to be. David is a baseliner by nature and was able to dig in back there today and just swing away. This opponent was clearly one that brought the best out in David." 


The T-Birds first doubles team of Joey Gates and Shaun Gillen fresh off winning their respective weight classes in a wrestling tournament over the weekend looked to continue their winning ways. Well they were just too quick, too athletic, and too powerful for their opponents today. "Whenever you put an athlete on the courts good things are bound to happen. It is just a matter of time before these two emerge as a team to be dealt with" said Coach Cav. The final score read 6-1, 6-2 The newcomer to tennis Shaun Gillen proving to be gaining some court lingo mentioned to coach "I was hoping to get you some bagels out there today." We were just thrilled the boys emerged victorious. 


The other matches did not seem to be heading on the same track. All the sets seemed to be competitive and the match was certainly not going to be a guaranteed victory. Andrew Realmuto dug out a tight first set 6-3, Chris Kash was able to hold on 6-4, Nick Troiano dropped his first set 2-6, Tom Perz and Brendan Sullivan fought back to win their first set 7-5 after trailing 3-4, and Marc Lewis and Joe Doner also won their first set after being down 2-3. So the T-Birds up 2-0 on the scoreboard certainly were going to have to fight to gain the other two points.


The second sets all seemed to swing in favor of the T-Birds. Both doubles teams crushed through their opponents collecting the necessary 4 points to clinch the match for Connetquot, however that didn't slow down the singles players who were after the clean 7-0 sweep. Andrew Realmuto made it 5-0 crushing his first singles combatant 6-0 in the second set. And while Chris Kash had trouble finishing off his opponent, dropping the second set as well as a third set tiebreaker to give North Babylon a point, Nick Troiano had his own script to write. After dropping the first set he quickly took charge of the second set jumping out to a 5-2 lead. When the smoke cleared on the second set Nick was still standing winning 7-5. And since the match was already decided the two players would battle for the match in a tiebreaker. It was a back and forth battle that saw Nick face a match point against at 5-6. He won that point and the next two to emerge as the winner. The win also gave Connetquot the 6-1 victory. "Nick's play was much more important than the actual result today" noted Coach Cav. " He needed to be able to play well in a big spot, and he did that all day long today, he proved to himself that he could not only play in a big point, but win them as well."


It is always nice to get the first win of the season under your belt, but it is also nice to play the Bulldogs and just truly enjoy the players in blue and white. It was an honor being a Bulldog, and I am where I am today because of my time there.

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