Rockets Review: Tennis Teams Finish Regular Season
Tennis, track and Ultimate Frisbee teams prepare to compete in the postseason, as boys volleyball and girls and boys lacrosse are scheduled for tournament play this week.
By Micah Hauben, NHS Director of Athletics
Several top-seeded Needham High School teams will be in tournament play this week, including:
- Boys Volleyball—Seeded third in the South, the team will host Norwood on Tuesday, May 29 at 6:30 p.m. at the NHS A Gym. All NHS students will receive a free Launch Pad T-shirt with paid admission.
- Girls Lacrosse—Seeded first in the South, the team will host Whitman-Hanson on Wednesday, May 30 at 4 p.m. at Memorial Field.
- Boys Lacrosse—Seeded sixth in the East, the team will host the winner of the Braintree vs. Andover game at a date and time TBA.
- Boys (15-0) and Girls (17-1) Tennis—Seedings will be released on May 30.
Heading into the rescheduled, final regular season match on Friday, May 25 against St. John's High School (Shrewsbury), the NHS boys tennis team had won 36 straight matches, including last year's Division I State Title.
SJS pushed the Rockets to the limit and made them work for No. 37, as the Needham boys edged out a tough 3-2 win.
The doubles teams continued to dominate, as Matt Bejian and Mo Lipman defeated the Central Section doubles champs from St. John's 6-0, 6-2, while Ben Okonow and Mitchell Silverman won 6-2, 7-5. Freshman Sam Cohen ran into one of the best third singles players Needham had seen in a long time, losing 6-0, 6-0.
In possibly only his fourth regular season loss in four years, senior Aaron Revzin, the South Sectional Champion, dropped his first match of the year to the SJS's No. 1, Chris Ellis, 6-2, 6-2 (the two will play again in the State Individuals semi-finals later in June).
With the match and the streak on the line, it came down to senior Aaron Segel's match at No. 2 singles. Segel overcame a 1-4 deficit in the first set to come back and win 7-6 (7-5 in the tiebreaker) then came from behind in the second set to win it 6-4. Match Needham 3-2, as the Rockets stormed the court.
The boys finish the season at 15-0 and will wait for their tournament seeding and schedule to be released later this week.
The girls, who did not end their season in as dramatic a fashion, were equally impressive down the stretch, as they won their final 13 matches of the season to finish 17-1 on the year. They will also wait for their seeding and scheduling information later this week to find out who they will play later this week.
Boys and Girls Track and Field
Competing in the MIAA Division II State Championship on Sunday, May 27, the NHS boys and girls track teams performed well and qualified four individuals for All-States.
Girls head coach Chris Van Cott provided the following write-up on the event:
On Sunday, May 27, the boys and girls track and field teams traveled to Whitman-Hanson High School for the MIAA Division 2 State Championships and came up with ninth and 21st place finishes.
The boys team was led by senior captains Ben Lueders and Stephen Farlow, who placed third in the 800 meters and shot put respectively. Lueders had a stellar performance in the 800, running 1:56.60 to eclipse a 38-year-old school record held previously by Steve Ridge. Meanwhile, Farlow, who has improved in the shot put a colossal 13 feet 11.75 inches since last year, set a personal best of 50 feet 1.25 inches in the preliminaries, good enough to earn him the bronze. Both athletes will advance to next weekend's All-State Championships.
Joining Lueders and Farlow at All-States will be seniors Ian Riley and Andrew Murowchick, who placed third and fifth in the javelin, throwing 168 feet 7 inches and 164 feet 8 inches respectively.
The girls team benefited from a well-rounded effort that saw them put up points in six of the 18 events contested. First off on the day, senior captain Lily Corcoran raced to an eighth-place finish in the 2 mile, recording a time of 12:02.59. Scoring next for the Rockets was sophomore Sammy Lerner, who also placed eighth in the mile with a personal best time of 5:22.02.
Sophomore Blessing Ojini ran well enough in the preliminaries of the 100 dash to qualify for the finals where she too set a personal record, running 12.96 seconds and placing seventh overall. Senior captain Alison Pildner placed eighth in the 400, running 1:00.34 for the distance—yet another personal record.
With the individual events over, the 4x800 and 4x100 meter relay teams came up with another eighth- and a sixth-place finish respectively. The 4x800 team consisting of senior captain Olivia Nolan, Lerner, sophomore Rachel Blaustein and freshman Kaleigh Hughes combined for a 10:03.82. While the 4x100 squad of Ojini, Pildner, sophomore Sara Castiglia and freshman Anya Gorodentsev ran a season best of 51.05 seconds.
Full results can be found online at miaa.ezstream.com.
Next up for the Rockets is the All-State Championships this weekend, to be held at Fitchburg State College. The meet is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.
The Needham Club Ultimate Frisbee teams have also had a strong spring, and the Boys A Team recently competed in the Northeast Regional Championship.
Needham Boys Ultimate Frisbee was one of 16 teams that participated in the Northeast Regional Championship in Devens, MA on May 19-20. The team won all three games on the first day of pool play against teams from New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and advanced to the finals on Sunday, May 20 by winning two more matches. Their only loss came in the finals against Amherst Regional High School.
The team next headed to western Massachusetts for States over Memorial Weekend.
Check http://nhs.needham.k12.ma.us/athletics for Rocket Athletic news, updates, forms, links and complete team schedules.
Rockets Review is a weekly update distributed by email by Needham High School Director of Athletics Micah Hauben and published with permission on Needham Patch. Additional athletics information can be found on the NHS Athletic Department Web site.