Recorder: "Youth served for Greenfield"

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Youth served for Greenfield

By JASON BUTYNSKI

Staff Writer

It’s not every day that a varsity team’s chances to win a league championship comes down to a couple of seventh-graders, but that was the case for Greenfield High School on Thursday.

Seventh-graders Daniel Pena-Chadee and Petru Cojucaru earned a third-set victory to beat Joseph Kochan and Josh Gaulin at first doubles and the Green Wave defeated rival Turners Falls, 3-2, in a Tri-County League boys tennis match in Greenfield.

The “Davis Street Kids,” as the Green Wave (7-3 overall, 6-1 TCL) tennis team has been dubbed this season, handed Turners Falls (10-2, 7-1) its first league loss of the season. If both teams win out over the remaining league schedule they would finish tied atop the TCL standings.

“We called it the ‘Connecticut River Derby,’” Green Wave coach Andrew Varnon said. “They knew it was big, we knew it was big. We brought all of our intensity and so did they and both teams left everything they had on the court.”

Turners Falls actually held a 2-0 lead after the first two matches came off the court as Brian Poirier bested Brandon Siow 6-0, 6-0 at second singles, and Brody Trott handed Anju Kang-Stryker a 6-3, 6-3 defeat at third singles.

Things began to turn around for the Green Wave as Victor Ivanchev won a tight match over Will Turn at first singles where he pulled out a 6-3, 7-6 (8-6). The Green Wave also picked up a victory at second doubles where Connor Pedigree and Gabe Larouche beat Mike Boyle and Miles Keefe 6-1, 6-2.

With the rest of the matches finished, all eyes turned toward the first doubles match, which headed to a third and decisive set. Pena-Chadee and Cojucaru earned a 7-5 victory in the first set, but Gaulin and Kochan came back to take a 7-6 (7-3) win in the second. In the third, the Green Wave seventh-graders earned a 6-3 victory to seal the win and give the Wave a shot at a league title.

“They are talented players who happen to be young,” Varnon said. “They pulled through in the end, but they gave their coach plenty to worry about. Everybody was cheering after every point.”

The match also had to start late due to three players taking AP exams, including Ivanchev and Kang-Stryker for the Wave.