The Whaler boys tennis team saw their record drop back down to .500 Thursday afternoon (4-4) following a 4-1 defeat to the Sturgis West Navigators on the road despite strong performances from their top two singles, Quinn Keating and Boyan Kalpazanov.
“Boyan played great and Quinn played a great match,” head coach David Cheever said. “Quinn was two points away from pulling out the match. They played a tiebreaker for the match and Quinn is really mad he didn’t beat that kid.”
Keating found himself in a battle. He won his first set on a tiebreaker 7-6 but in the ensuing set he lost the tiebreaker 6-7. It set up an exciting third set, but Keating ultimately lost it 3-7 to Navigator’s top singles player Mike Olson.
Kalpazanov was the only winner on Nantucket’s end. He won in straight sets 6-3, 6-4.
“Boyan showed mental toughness and just figured out how to beat the kid,” Cheever said. “Neither one was winning their serves but Boyan was eventually able to put the kid away.”
Freshman Nik Krastev, who has earned an opportunity to move up from the first doubles team to third singles in recent matches thanks to strong play to begin the season, lost in straight sets 1-6, 2-6. Cheever said that Krastev ran into a pusher who did a good job of finding ways to hit everything back to Krastev over and over until he ultimately made an error.
Neither doubles team was able to win. The first Whaler doubles pairing was Henry Kathawala and Hunter Gross. They lost in straight sets 2-6, 5-7.
The second doubles pairing was Hawkin Edwardes and Soren Edwardes. It was a rare opportunity for the brothers to play with one another, and it got off to a good start when they won the first set 6-4. Things went downhill from there however, and they lost the second set 3-6 and the tiebreaking set 3-6.
“The Edwardes brothers crashed and burned,” Cheever said. “They won the first set and looked great. But they crashed and burned in those final two sets.”
The Whalers will almost one week of rest before they return to action. They will travel to Monomoy for the first road game of three games in four days stretch on Wednesday, May 10. That match is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. The Sharks beat the Whalers on the island last month 2-3.