PETER GIBSON picked up big wins for the Kingswood boys’ tennis team last week. Kathy Sutherland. (click for larger version)
May 07, 2012WOLFEBORO — After starting the week with a tough loss, the Kingswood boys' tennis team picked up quite possibly two of the biggest wins in the program's history.
The Knights made the trek to Bethlehem on Thursday, May 3, for a doubleheader with the undefeated and top-seeded Patriots of Profile.
The first match went the way of the hosts, as Kingswood managed just two wins and dropped the 6-2 decision.
Peter Gibson won 8-4 in the number one spot and Alden Garland won in the number two spot by an 8-3 score.
Nils Babcock had a long, close match at number six, but dropped a 9-7 decision and the Patriots grabbed the win.
However, the second game of the doubleheader was a different story, as the Knights picked up a 5-4 win.
"This was the biggest win for Kingswood boys' tennis in over a decade," coach Greg Cooper said. "We beat the number one team at home while they were undefeated."
Kingswood won four of the singles matches, meaning they just had to win one of the doubles in order to walk off with the win and the top doubles team of Gibson and Garland snagged a 9-7 win at number one to clinch the win for the Knights.
Gibson won 8-3 at number one singles, Tucker Jones won 8-4 at number three, Andrew McCall won 8-5 at number four and Babcock won by an 8-2 decision at number six, setting up the doubles win.
"It came down to the things we practiced all year long," Cooper said. "Being tough mentally and physically, playing smart and never giving up."
Cooper noted that Gibson dominated in his singles match, which started the entire thing in motion.
"The important thing to realize is that Jones, McCall and Babcock all adjusted their game plan to beat very skilled opponents," Cooper said. "By far these were the best players we have faced and they really rose to the occasion."
In the deciding number one doubles match, Gibson and Garland rallied from behind to get the win. Gibson had a great serve and Garland returned difficult Profile serves all afternoon.
The win followed up another big win the previous day when the Knights hosted undefeated Berlin and picked up a 7-2 win.
Gibson won 8-4 at number one, Garland won 8-6 at number two and Jones won 8-2 at number three. McCall got a shutout at number four and Babcock won 9-8 (7-2 in the tiebreaker) at number six.
Gibson and Garland won 8-5 at number one doubles and Jones and McCall won 8-4 at number two.
"Nils won the key match, he never quit and fought hard and won a long, tough match," Cooper stated. "It seemed like everything clicked today for the team."
Cooper noted that things they had been working on in practice were put into place on the court.
"This was a big win for our team," Cooper said.
The week began with a trip to Kennett, where the Eagles picked up a 6-3 win over the Knights.
Jones won 9-7 at number three, McCall won 8-2 at number four and Gibson and Garland won at number one doubles for the Knight victories.
The Knights will finish up their regular season with a home match at home against Conant at 4 p.m. on Monday, May 14.
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126