Last Saturday, the boys varsity tennis team squeaked by with a 5-4 win against Middleburg Academy. Though the Mustangs boast five shutouts in their 7-1 season, the boys were met with a challenge, thanks to the star efforts of Middleburg brothers, Noah and Adam Fenton.
“I would say that the Fenton brothers give Middleburg Academy a good strong chance at winning most of their matches,” Mason tennis coach Matthew Sowers said of the opponents, who earned Middleburg three of its four points.
Despite losing to the brothers thrice – to junior Noah in a singles match against Kan Tagami, to freshman Adam in a singles match against Jay Rodock, and to both in a doubles match against Tagami and Rodock – the Mustangs were able to bring in five points for three singles wins by Tommy Weber, Nate Jones and Tyler Waters, and two doubles wins with the efforts of Weber and Karl Campanella-Dysart, and Jonathan Babington and David McAlpin.
Sowers said that, while he wasn’t aware of the talents of the Fenton power duo, the team was expecting tough competition from the school, as it is part of the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association. Sowers added that he welcomes this kind of competition to prepare his team for what he hopes will be another chance at the state championship.
And with the team’s number four seeded player, Sam Waters, unable to make the trip, leading to the Mustang players competing out of rotation, the win was that much more difficult to secure. But with bumping up Webber to play at four and Jones to play at five, and bringing in Tyler Waters, typically the eight-seeded player, to play at six, all three were able to bring in singles points.
“Most of this season we have been dominating our opponents in both singles and doubles competition, so walking out of the singles competitive play against Middleburg Academy at three wins apiece put more pressure on our doubles matches,” Sowers said. “I believe that the boys handled the pressure situations well physically and kept their emotions under control.”
For earning two points for the Mustangs, Tommy Weber was named man of the match for the third time this season. Sowers praised the sophomore’s growth when comparing his last season’s performance to this season.
“This season he has met all expectations by learning how to channel his emotions into a positive strength and motivator for himself and his teammates,” Sowers said.
The team played Brentsville High School Wednesday night. Results were unavailable at press deadline.
The boys play again tonight at a 4 p.m. away match against St. James School. Because of house rules, the lineup for the singles and doubles matches cannot repeat. Sowers says that while he likes the challenge that the changed format brings, “it does expose our team to many weaknesses due to not having as much experience in the doubles line ups.”