BRATTLEBORO - Spring Break might officially be underway, but the Brattleboro boys tennis team still made time to get schooled by the Raiders on Monday.
The Colonels dropped back-toback matches against Rutland, the first in their opener Saturday away, 6-1, and the second on Monday, when they got blanked as the hosts, 7-0.
"We've got some catching up to do," said Brattleboro's new coach Justin Duncan on Monday.
Asa Lane was the sole Colonel victor on Saturday, coming through on a tie-breaker, 2-6, 7-5, 10-4. He then struggled during his second set on Monday in No. 2 Singles, when he lost to Kyle Martin 6-3, 6-0.
"Rutland was the better team," said Duncan. "I think we got the worst out of the way, hopefully."
The Brattleboro team has a base of six freshmen this year, and their inexperience was obvious as they learned a hard lesson from a senior Raider squad of nine.
Games were set up exactly the same on both match days, except for a change at No. 2 doubles on Monday that saw Brattleboro's Spencer Butter and Luke Cionci take on Joe Sullivan and Sean Thompson, the match ending 6-0, 6-1.
The Raiders stayed sharp through No. 1 doubles, too, as Brattleboro's Lachlan Francis and Jake Gartenstein fell to Rocco Stoutes and Jake Piatek, 6-0, 6-1.
Singles contests sizzled Monday, most notably the No. 1 match between Brattleboro's Isaiah Ungerleider and Rutland's ace, Dom Wysolonerski. Wysolonerski stayed calm in the corner when he fired his serves and made returns, and bounced from one edge of the court to the next when he had to. Ungerleider held his own, finding a spark halfway through the showdown, giving Wysolonerski a tough time just when the Rutland senior thought he had him cornered. But Ungerleider's frustration bled through as he collapsed toward the end of his last set. The two played to a 6-2, 6-2 final.
No. 3 singles saw the Colonels' Tony Acevedo get beat by Jake Guarino, 6-1, 6-1. Acevedo struggled with some of his returns, but was able to work on a few things, said Duncan.
Brattleboro's Oliver Goodman battled Cameron Pierce in No. 4 singles, and fell 6-0, 6-2. Pierce made use of the time to improve on his serves and volleys.
"Acevedo and Pierce both improved," said Duncan. "They all improve with each match."
Rutland coach Rob Purdy said something similar about his team.
"Everyone has improved their strokes, but mentally you have to know how to close it out. Today, I didn't want them to become overconfident, or complacent."
David Aquino can be reached at email@example.com, or by calling 802-254-2311, ext. 164.