ZACH CARSON returns a shot during action against Gilford on May 14. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
May 21, 2012ALTON — The Prospect Mountain tennis boys closed out the season with a pair of victories, setting a new standard for boys' tennis at Prospect.
The two wins gave the Timber Wolves four for the season, which is the most number of wins the team has recorded in a season.
"I have learned a great deal this year about coaching this wonderful sport and I have great hope that our record will improve as the years go on," coach Justin Carloni said. "I would argue that we have one of the most challenging schedules in our division, playing most or all of the opponents who make it to the tournament on an annual basis."
The Timber Wolves finally managed to beat Moultonborough after three tries to get the match in. The two teams originally met on Thursday, May 10, but had to call the match due to rain. They rescheduled to Tuesday, May 15, but again had to stop the match, this time with Prospect leading 4-2 with just the doubles to play.
The two teams finally finished the match on Friday, May 18, with Prospect getting a 6-3 win.
The highlight of the match for the Timber Wolves came in the number one spot, where Zach Carson had a fantastic match against a top opponent and emerged with a victory in a tight match.
"He had several aces and his serves were excellent," Carloni stated.
The Timber Wolves made the long trip to Swanzey to take on Monadnock on Wednesday, May 16, and the bus ride home was an enjoyable one, as the Timber Wolves snagged an 8-1 victory over the Huskies.
Zach Carson, Andrew Carson, Tony Stohlberg, Carl Stohlberg, Jared Cowing and David Troy all picked up wins in singles and Dylan Parker helped out with a win in doubles as the Timber Wolves rolled.
The week began with a home match with the defending Division III champions from Gilford on Monday, May 14.
The Golden Eagles took the first three singles matches relatively quickly, winning 8-1 at spots one and two (Zach and Andrew Carson) and 8-2 in the third spot (Tony Stohlberg).
Carl Stohlberg played in the fourth spot and had a good back and forth battle before dropping an 8-6 decision.
The Golden Eagles then sealed the victory with an 8-1 win at number one doubles over Zack Carson and Tony Stohlberg, a match that was completed before the singles were finished.
Parker got the win for the Timber Wolves at number six, taking the 8-5 victory and Cowing had a great match at number five, falling 9-8 (7-4 in the tiebreaker) for the 6-1 lead for the Golden Eagles.
"That was a great match," Carloni said of Cowing's battle.
With Andrew Carson and Carl Stohlberg playing number two doubles and Cowing and Parker playing number three, the match was postponed when the courts became wet from the slowly arriving rain.
"I like the way the guys played against them," Carloni said. "I didn't expect to win, but they all showed their technique, etiquette and form."
He noted that the Gilford program is one to emulate moving forward.
"I want the kids to look to Gilford and say that's what we would like to have," Carloni said. "It's a pleasure to play a good team and I like the way we played."
Carloni noted that the increased skill level of the Timber Wolves helped make more and more matches exciting over the course of the year.
"I have watched with pleasure as we progressed to a point where the average teams we play find great challenges when they play us," the Timber Wolf coach said. "I started coaching three years ago and I had the great pleasure of seeing kids who had never touched a racket before progress to be competitive players."
Carloni also noted that the Timber Wolves showed great sportsmanship in every game, whether it was a tight battle or a blowout.
"I am pleased to say that in all situations, the PMHS boys' tennis team handled themselves with confidence, humor and character that was infectious," he said.
He pointed to the hard work of the Carson twins in the top spots in the lineup, playing the other team's strongest players and also noted that Carl Stohlberg and David Troy had strong matches all year. Cowing emerged from the year with a winning record and seniors Tony Stohlberg and Parker contributed a lot to the team in their final seasons.
The Prospect coach also noted that the players on the lower end of the ladder also chipped in along the way.
"They were very positive, hard-working, funny and great kids to have on the team," Carloni said. "I expect that they will advance their skills for next year's season as they have proven their dedication and love for the game over this season."
Joshua Spaulding can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 569-3126