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Division 3 boys tennis: Belchertown retains title with road win over Lee

  • Belchertown senior Colby Masse returns against Lee during Wednesday’s Western Massachusetts Division 3 title match at Lee. The Orioles won 4-1. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Belchertown senior Colby Masse fires a bow to celebrate winning the No. 1 doubles match with Carson Boscher during the Western Massachusetts Division 3 title match at Lee on June 23. The Orioles won 4-1. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Belchertown’s Joe Bianco returns a shot during the No. 2 doubles match against Lee in Wednesday’s Western Massachusetts Division 3 final in Lee. The Orioles won 4-1. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Belchertown’s Kiernan Corish eyes a shot against Lee in the No. 2 doubles match of Wednesday’s Western Massachusetts Division 3 final. The Orioles prevailed 4-1. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Belchertown senior Ben Schrenzel eyes a return against Lee in the No. 1 singles match of Wednesday’s Western Massachusetts Division 3 boys tennis final. The Orioles won 4-1. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI

  • Belchertown’s Tom Vinagre chases down a shot at No. 2 singles during Wednesday’s Western Massachusetts Division 3 boys tennis final in Lee. The Orioles won 4-1. STAFF PHOTO/KYLE GRABOWSKI



Staff Writer
Monday, July 05, 2021

LEE — Colby Masse had another arrow in his quiver.

One of the Belchertown boys tennis team’s senior captains, he blasted a forehand to finish he and Carson Boscher’s No. 1 doubles match against Lee in the Division 3 Western Massachusetts final on June 23. After the ball landed securely, Masse held his racket like a bow and drew an imaginary arrow back. He celebrated the same way after the Orioles secured their first sectional title in 2019.

“I told myself if I hit a winner to end the game, I wanted to break out the bow again,” Masse said. “Good old times.”

Monday’s shot was more aspirational. Masse and Boscher finished their match first, defeating top-seeded Lee’s Mason Mihlek and Josh Perrier, 6-1, 6-0.

“We played as consistently as possible,” Masse said. “We don’t hit the ball that hard, but we don’t miss the ball.”

The rest of the second-seeded Orioles ensured Masse’s celebration wasn’t in vain. Belchertown captured both doubles points and No. 3 singles — the Lob City formula coach Zach Siano established when he took over — to clinch the match on the way to a 4-1 victory. The Orioles have won the last two Division 3 championships after losing the previous four finals.

“I’m happy for the program, these guys, and I’m really happy these guys represented for the guys that couldn’t defend their title in 2020,” Siano said.

Belchertown only graduated one senior from the 2019  squad, so it had a strong chance to repeat.

“I know how much it meant to this team to do it for those four guys that didn’t get the chance to, that had that chance ripped away from them in 2020,” Siano said.

“This year it feels good to cement our place being a program where on paper, one wouldn’t expect it to be as successful as it is,” Belchertown senior captain Ben  Schrenzel said. “To do it back to back feels good.”

Joe Bianco and Kiernan Cornish made it 2-0 Orioles with a 6-2, 6-3 win at No. 2 doubles over Gabe Kelley and Jim Purcell. Bianco and Cornish rallied from an early hole in the second set to bring Belchertown to the brink.

All eyes turned to the No. 3 singles match between Lee’s Cooper Maloney and Belchertown’s Trevor Weiss. Weiss won the first set 6-1, then held off Maloney 6-3 in the second set to ensure the victory.

“I was really nervous,” said Weiss, a freshman. “I’m nervous up to the match, but once I start hitting the ball I forget about all that — the scale of the game — and just play to win.”

With the match out of reach for the Wildcats at that point, the No. 2 singles positions entered a third-set tiebreakers rather than playing a full sets.

Belchertown’s Tom Vinagre fell 4-6, 6-3, 13-11 at No. 2 singles against Matthew Petres.

That left Schrenzel late in a second set tiebreaker against Christopher Petresen trying to finish the match and avoid a third set. He won 6-2, 7-6 (7-1).

“It wasn’t until the end of the second set when people started to really cheer and I realized, ‘this is it, this is us,’” Schrenzel said. “It takes a lot of the stress off of it. I can hit a little looser and stay focused.”