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Tiebreaker likely breaks North tourney hopes in loss to Salem

By Tom King - Staff Writer | May 19, 2024

Nashua North's Connor McInerney focuses on a return during Saturday's match vs. Salem in Nashua. (Telegraph photo by TOM KING)

NASHUA – The tiebreakers giveth, and they taketh away.

As a result of the latter, the Nashua High School North boys tennis season likely came to an end on Saturday, via a 5-4 loss at the hands of the Salem Blue Devils.

North’s Connor McInerney won a 7-2 tiebreaker at No. 5 singles to allow the Titans to split the singles at 3-3. But at No. 2 doubles, the last match going with the teams deadlocked 4-all, the tandem of Jack Desjardins/Domingo Reyenoso lost a 7-4 tiebreaker to Salem’s duo of Max Condon and Max Sylvester.

That gave the Blue Devils a dramatic 5-4 win, and sank North to 5-9 and an apparent tie with Concord for the 11th and final Division I tourney spot. The first tiebreaker is head-to-head, and North fell to the Tide earlier in the season. Thus there was an unofficial air of finality when the rains began and the Titans were packing up their things. It’s not set in stone until the NHIAA pairings come out on Monday.

“They fought very hard,” North coach Rob Trowbridge said of his team. “But when you get down to a tiebreak, whether it’s singles, doubles, whatever, anything can happen – and it did for us.”

The Blue Devils won’t make the post season, finishing at 4-10, but they enjoyed playing potential spoiler yesterday.

“We fight every week,” Salem coach Justin Golden said. “I don’t think our record is indicative of how strong we are or how good these kids are.”

The Titans found that out. They got wins from Rudra Patel 8-0 at No. 1 singles, Navein Sribalaharan at No. 3 8-6 and McInerneny with his 9-8 (7-2) thriller.

But in doubles, the only sure thing was McInerney/Jeet Panchal’s 8-3 win at No. 3. Patel/Sribalaharan trailed 7-2, fought back to 7-6 but eventually fell 8-6 to Salem’s Om Patel/Lev Lacharite. North’s No. 2 tandem was down 4-1 and bounced back to even things at 8-8 and go to the tiebreaker. Salem won three of the first four points and set the tone.

So now Trowbridge looks ahead.

“Rudra had a great season,” he said. “And we’ve got some boys coming along, stalwarts of the future, basically. Navein, Connor, Domingo.”

But losing to Londonderry on Friday and then Saturday’s match was tough to take.

“Very tough,” Trowbridge said. “When you lose two games in two days, that’s it.”


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