Bethlehem Press

Thursday, May 24, 2018

FHS tops Becahi in tennis

Wednesday, April 12, 2017 by Katie McDonald in Sports

Freedom’s boys’ tennis team scored its first victory of the season over neighboring rival Bethlehem Catholic by a score of 4-3 this past Monday at Becahi.

The Hawks, who had a record of 4-3 prior to Monday’s match were without their number one singles player Colby Treadwell. Yiwei Lyu filled in at one singles but lost to Jon Fiorentino 0-6, 0-6.

Becahi came back at two singles when Andrew Kaeser defeated Justin Szaro 6-3, 6-1.

“A lot of the games went to deuce [in the first set], and I wasn’t hitting to his backhand, but I should have been,” Kaeser said. “When I needed my hardest serve, I was able to get it in.”

Freedom won at three singles where Paras Chand defeated Hesshanth Jeyaranghan 6-3, 6-3.

“At first I was losing 0-2, but when I adjusted to the new environment, I started to get ahead,” Chand said.

Chand started the season playing doubles, but when the Patriots were missing one of their singles players at their match against Emmaus, Coach Mike Antonis moved Chand to three singles and liked what he saw.

“It’s amazing,” said Chand. “It’s more open, and you’re not disappointing your partner. If I lose, it’s on me.”

Chand lost his second set against Emmaus in a tiebreaker and remembered that during Monday’s second set.

“I was afraid that might happen again, so I executed my strokes more precisely,” Chand said. “I wish my serves were a little stronger, but my ground strokes are strong, and that makes up for it.”

Freedom had a big win at two doubles as Matt Mullen and Abdul Kutbudden defeated Dan Deshler and Matt Falteich 1-6, 6-4, 6-0 even though it was the first time Mullen and Kutbudden played together.

“We had no practice whatsoever, but Matt was at the net, and I was in the back, and we used that to our advantage,” said Kutbudden. “I had a lot of angled shots. Between sets, I called over to our coach, and he said just do what you’re doing. As we kept going, I was feeling happier, and that gave me more confidence.”

The Patriots were not necessarily expecting to win, considering their current team record, and Becahi’s history of strong teams.

“In the first set, we were still getting used to it, but my serves were really on,” said Mullen. “I thought it would be a lot harder going into the third set and that they would fight harder.”

The Hawks won the next two doubles matches as Kyle Smedley and Nick Cenek defeated Thomas Schaffer and Mandas Singh 6-4, 6-4, and Sean Van Ormer and Jake Smedley defeated Ryan Lombardo and Maxwell Mehta 6-2, 6-3.

“[In the first set] they were hitting deep, and we were too far up, especially on hard shots, we were just jamming balls,” said Smedley. “When we were returning, we let them beat themselves, and we had a lot of kill shots up front.”

The second set played out a little differently.

“They were hitting in the back, and we tried to hit to the opposite side to get them tired,” Cenek said. “For the most part, our serves were good. We try and outpace the other teams.”

To break the 3-3 tie of the match, Fiorentino and Szaro defeated Kaeser and Jeyaranghan at number one doubles by a score of 6-0, 6-3, giving Freedom the team victory.