Fairfield Ludlowe boys tennis holds off rival Warde
Fairfield Ludlowe's newly-created No. 2 doubles team is 1-for-1.
"It always comes down to that last doubles match ... and it did," Ludlowe coach Andy Jorgensen said. "Kids were mentally tough out there ... it's good."
The Falcons won three singles matches, including Dan Adajian's three-set thriller, improving to 7-3.
"He just dug in," Jorgensen said of Adajian. "He had a lot of heart."
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"It's disappointing," Warde coach Ben Zuckerberg said. "We fought hard, I'm proud of my players."
Karson and Doyle played their first match together Tuesday and showed no signs of discomfort. The duo claimed the first set 6-4 then built a 5-2 advantage in the second.
"We got used to each other and played well," Doyle said.
The Johnsons broke Doyle, cutting Ludlowe's lead to 5-3, then fought back from 15-40 down to force deuce. Karson and Doyle won the game's final two points, including Doyle's winner to clinch victory.
"It was great," Doyle said.
With that being the only match still left to finish, Doyle and Karson admitted they had to narrow their focus.
"We focused on what we had to do, which was go to net," Karson said. "And keep serves in."
With Ludlowe trailing 3-2, Adajian fought both cramps and Warde's Devon Pulton to claim a 7-6 (7-0), 6-7 (7-3), 6-3 victory at No. 3 singles.
"I just tried to stay in there," Adajian said. "I was up 5-0 in the third set, then he won the next three games. I kind of just decided that was the game I had to win ... it feels really good."
Doyle's brother Connor handly won at No. 2 singles, beating Eyad Nagori 6-3, 6-2. Freshman Mason Jennings claimed a 6-4, 6-3 win, boosting the Falcons to a 2-0 edge.
After Jack Mappa and Connor McGuiness won for Warde's No. 1 doubles team, Berkowitz evened the match, beating Ludlowe's Jack Meyer, 6-4, 6-3.
Meyer had beaten Berkowitz last year, and the Mustangs' junior No. 1-singles player felt relieved to beat his Ludlowe counterpart.
"It's a really tough match," Berkowitz said. "Last year I lost. It defintely felt good to win today."
Mercado, Warde's No. 5-singles player, put the pressure further on Ludlowe, persevering to a 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 win over Ludlowe's Alex Barker.
Fairfield Ludlowe 4, Fairfield Warde 3 (at Ludlowe): Singles: Ted Berkowitz (FW) d. Jack Meyer, 6-4, 6-3; Connor Doyle (FL) d. Eyad Nagori, 6-3, 6-2; Dan Adajian (FL) d. Devon Pulton, 7-6 (7-0), 6-7 (7-3), 6-3; Mason Jennings (FL) d. Kanav Kumar, 6-4, 6-3; Kevin Mercado (FW) d. Alex Barker, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1; Doubles: Jack Mappa/Conor McGuiness (FW) d. Sam Flicker/Mike O'Neill, 6-2, 7-5; Robby Karson/Parker Doyle (FL) d. Henry Johnson/Jack Johnson, 6-4, 6-3. Records: FL 7-3, FW 6-4.