Boys Tennis Wins Second Straight D1 State Title
The Needham High School Rockets beat St. John's 3-2 on Thursday, June 14 at Clark University.
By Micah Hauben, NHS Director of Athletics
For the second year in a row, the Needham High School Rockets faced St. John's High School (Shrewsbury) in the Division I State Final, and for the second time, Needham came away with the DI State Championship.
With the 3-2 win, the boys completed an undefeated 21-0 season, topped only by their 22-0 mark last spring. The 43 straight is an impressive feat, and one that has been done the right way, as evidenced by the team and Coach Drew Lawrence being awarded the prestigious MIAA Sportsmanship Award before the start of play on Thursday.
In the match, Needham showed its team depth and talent level early, as their first and second doubles teams—senior Mo Lipman and junior Matt Bejian (No. 1) and senior Mitchell Silverman and junior Ben Okonow (No. 2)—each dominated play for straight-set victories.
Silverman and Okonow will compete on Saturday, June 16 for the State Individual Championships, taking on SJS No. 1 doubles at St. John's High School in Shrewsbury.
NHS No. 1 singles senior Aaron Revzin stepped up his game and intensity against SJS No. 1 Chris Ellis, to whom he lost at the end of May, to take a straight-set victory and seal the title for the Rockets.
Revzin will join Silverman and Okonow on Saturday, as he faces Ellis for a third time in the State Individual Semifinals.
At No. 2 singles, NHS senior Aaron Segel dropped the first set, fought back to win the second set and, as the team outcome had already been decided, played in and lost in a third-set super tie-breaker.
NHS freshman No. 3 singles player Sam Cohen showed how much he has developed and grown this year, pushing the talented SJS No. 3 to a second set tie-breaker after falling quickly to the same player less than one month ago.