Sports Roundup: All Teams In Action Wednesday & Thursday

David Creed •

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Photo by Chris Tran

This Whaler sports roundup includes updates on the boys lacrosse team, softball team, boys tennis team, girls tennis team, baseball team, girls lacrosse team, and sailing team after every team was in action over the past two days.

Boys Lax Wins Home Opener Against Barnstable

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Colby O'Keefe had three goals in Nantucket's home opener. Photo by Chris Tran

The boys lacrosse team improved to 3-1 this season following a 13-5 victory over the Barnstable Red Hawks Thursday afternoon. It was Nantucket’s first home game of the year, and the Whalers got off to a fast start – scoring six first quarter goals while shutting the Red Hawks out in the first quarter.

The game was 9-1 midway through the second quarter and 9-2 at half. But as the game progressed, Barnstable was able to knock the Whalers off of their game mentally, which allowed the Red Hawks to stay within striking distance and eventually make it a 10-4 game in the third quarter.

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Mike Culkins. Photo by Chris Tran
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Jack Halik. Photo by Chris Tran

"We knew this was coming,” Nantucket head coach Sam Aloisi said. “We knew they were going to be dirty and chippy. We talked to the guys about it before the game. We talked to them yesterday and today and they took the bait. Our guys took the bait. They let these guys in their heads. These guys were slashing. Barnstable was slashing us, playing a little bit out of control and we weren't big enough to rise above it unfortunately. It's a process for these guys. They're emotional. They're competitors. They want to win and take care of each other, but that's not the way to do it.”

Nantucket was led by seniors Paddy Carroll (four goals) and Colby O’Keefe (three goals). Senior Jack Halik had two goals and three assists and even transitioned to play with a long pole when the Whaler's defensive depth was tested. Senior Ryan Davis, junior David Cirillo, and sophomores Arann Hanlon and Nolan Mosscrop each had one goal.

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Nolan Mosscrop. Photo by Chris Tran
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Photo by Chris Tran

While Barnstable had 10 penalties to just two Whaler penalties, Aloisi reiterated his team needs to keep their composure and continue sticking to the gameplan moving forward.

"It was 6-0, then 9-2 at halftime and then we scored one in the third or two, whatever,” Aloisi said. “They got out of their game. They lost the mental game. It's that simple really. That first quarter and then I think at the beginning of the fourth when they were really playing their team offense, they looked great. A lot of really nice passing and cutting.”

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Cole Chambers. Photo by Chris Tran

Nantucket is scheduled to travel to Bishop Stang on Saturday, April 13 for a 2 p.m. game (weather permitting) as they attempt to improve their record to 4-1.

Cristler’s 10 K’s Help Softball Earn First Win

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Yahely Del Rosario Gomez. Photo by Chris Tran

The Nantucket softball team earned their first win of the season Wednesday afternoon following a 17-5 victory over the St. John Paul II Lions in five innings thanks to a 10 run fourth inning and some stellar pitching from Seren Cristler.

“Finally swinging the bat and we were aggressive up at the plate which we struggled with in the first game so a lot of improvement there,” head coach Grace-Anne Tornovish said. “We have had a lot of time between the first game and this game to work on it.”

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Photo by Chris Tran
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Photo by Chris Tran

The Whaler's first game was against the Nauset Warriors on April 1, however Nauset needed to catch the boat so the game was suspended with the Warriors leading 12-7 in the fifth inning. The game will be continued when Nantucket travels to Nauset later this season on May 20 for their second matchup.

Cristler was sharp on the mound for Nantucket all afternoon - pitching all five innings and striking out 10 batters.

“Not too many hits. Seren Cristler really killed it at pitching,” Tornovish said. “A lot of strikeouts and Aliza (Mansfield) behind the plate is a dynamic duo. They really held it together for us. The defense didn’t have to do much in the field today.”

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Seren Cristler. Photo by Chris Tran

Nantucket jumped out to a 6-1 lead after two innings, but the Warriors fought back to make it 6-5 in the fourth inning. That is when the Whaler bats came to life – showing a blend of patience at the plate to earn several walks and aggressiveness from players such as Sophia Yelverton, who had two singles in the fifth, as well as Yahely Del Rosario Gomez and Sydney Ard, who hit doubles in the fifth inning to help the Whalers break it open.

“I think everyone did a good job hitting once we adjusted and decided to be aggressive at the plate,” Tornovish reiterated. “I am proud of everyone who was in. Unfortunately, we didn’t get everyone in the game because of the mercy rule. But I think Seren and Aliza killed it. Good pitching leads to good wins.”

The Whalers then traveled to Sturgis East for a matchup with the Storm on Thursday and lost 14-11. Nantucket is now 1-1 this season and their next game is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16 on the road against Weymouth at 12 p.m.

Boys Tennis Improves To 3-0 Following Win Over Rising Tide

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Sam Iller. Photo by Chris Tran

The boys tennis team continued their strong start to the season on Wednesday against the Rising Tide Herons – beating them 5-0 to remain undefeated this season.

Boyan Kalpazanov (6-2, 6-1), Nik Krastev (6-0, 6-1), and Henry Kathawala (6-0, 6-3) all won their singles matchups in straight sets.

“We’re starting to get in a groove and hit our stride,” Kathawala said after his match.

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Boyan Kalpazanov. Photo by Chris Tran
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Henry Kathawala. Photo by Chris Tran

Despite Soren Edwardes missing his second straight match, the doubles teams continued to perform well. Hawkin Edwardes and Sam Iller made up the first doubles pairing and won in straight sets 6-1, 6-1. Fuller Holland and Forbes Keating linked up once again as the second doubles pairing and made quick work of their opponents – beating them in straight sets 6-0, 6-0 and were the first to finish their match.

The Whalers will attempt to improve their record to 4-0 on Friday, April 12 on the road against the Sturgis West Navigators (weather permitting) at 4 p.m.

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Nik Krastev. Photo by Chris Tran
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Hawkin Edwardes. Photo by Chris Tran

Girls Tennis Wins Second Straight Match

Girls Tennis
Photo by Chris Tran

The girls tennis team is now 2-1 this season after winning their second consecutive match – beating the Rising Tide Heron 4-1 on the road.

All three singles players won their matches for the Whalers. Joan Harris was the top single and won in straight sets 6-3, 6-3. Harris said after the match in her match report that the game was a little too close at times and that her backhand wasn’t great on Wednesday.

“I was happy with my serves though,” Harris said. “I was trying to target my opponent’s weakness by pulling her to the net since her volleys weren’t strong.”

Hannah Gerardi was the Whalers second single and continued her strong start to the year. She won her match in straight sets 6-0, 6-1.

“I think my opponent’s weaknesses were coming into the net and returning deep shots, so I tried to play more of those shots,” Gerardi said after the match. “My opponent had good serves and shot placement. I want to start incorporating drop shots and be more consistent with deep shots throughout my game.”

Lily Chibnik was the third single and the freshman impressed in the first singles match of her varsity career – winning in straight sets 6-0, 6-1.

“My opponent’s weaknesses were her serve which opened me up to good shots,” Chibnik said. “My strength this match was my serves and backhands. What I need to work on next match to be a better player is aiming my shots better so they don’t go out and they go to where I want them. Overall, the match went very well and it was a great experience for my first singles match.”

Sutton LeBrecht and Chloe Marrero were the first doubles pairing and lost. After losing the first set 3-6, LeBrecht and Marrero won set two 6-2. It led to a 10-point tiebreaker that the Herons were able to win 10-7.

“We definitely took some time to really get warmed up but overall, I thought we played okay,” Marrero said.

Sara Dussault and Andrea Bunlerssak made up the Whaler’s second doubles pairing and won in convincing fashion 6-0, 6-1.

“I would say we had a very good match,” Dussault said. “Even though this was our first time playing together, I think we did very well and had good communication. I feel like I did very well at my ground strokes both forehand and backhand and I feel like my volleys have improved a lot too. Andrea’s strong suit was her serves and her volleys. She has very good ball placement with her volleys. I feel like I need to work on having power in my serve and something Andrea said she needs to work on is having a powerful forehand. Our opponent’s weakness was not moving their feet and having a slow reaction. They also were not able to get the long balls.”

There was also an exhibition match featuring Vicky Todorova and Viktoria Bozhkova. They won their lone set 6-2.

“We had a pretty rough start after we tied 2-2 but ended up doing better after communicating,” Todorova said. “They had really good sportsmanship and good ground strokes and returns. I think I did well at the net and Viki did a good job covering in the back.”

The Whalers will now be off until after April school vacation. They'll attempt to improve their win streak to three games on Wednesday, April 24 on the road against Cape Cod Academy at 4 p.m.

Girls Lacrosse Wins Fifth Straight, Remains Undefeated

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Maddie Lombardi. Photo by Chris Tran

The girls lacrosse team continued their solid play out of the gate and improved their record to 5-0 on Thursday following a 17-5 victory over the Barnstable Red Hawks.

"True to form again the first quarter we were slow to start,” Whaler head coach Jami Lower said. “We were back and forth a little bit. But we pulled it out and they looked good and then they got to the point where they were able to move the ball around a little bit and worked together. So, it was good.”

Lower said the slow starts are likely due to her team feeling out the game and what is and is not tolerated when it comes to the physical side of the game.

“I think it's honestly adapting to the style of play,” Lower said. “The girl’s game has become so controversial in so many aspects of what is physical and what is not, and it really depends on where you're playing, who you're playing against, what's considered physical. It's such a subjective sport so I think a lot of it takes that first quarter to kind of settle in and realize like, 'Okay, in this game this is what is deemed as physical and this game, this is what is deemed as not physical. You just have to constantly work on developing your play to the situation around you. I think that is half of it. Then the other is keeping our heads together and learning how to manage that piece of it.”

The Whalers were led, per usual, by seniors Bailey Lower (six goals and four assists) and Emerson Pekarcik (six goals and two assists). Senior attacker Cydney Mosscrop added one goal and three assists, junior Mayson Lower scored two goals, and Dylan Damian tallied one goal.

The Whalers have now outscored their opponents 84-27 through these first five games and will attempt to improve their record to 6-0 on Monday, April 22 when they host the Nauset Warriors at 4 p.m.

Nantucket was scheduled to host St. John Paul II on Friday, April 12, however that game was postponed due to weather.

Sailing Beats Bishop Stang

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Photo by Jim Meehan

The Whaler sailing team earned a 3-0 victory Thursday afternoon at home against Bishop Stang. Nantucket’s next regatta is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23 on the road against Martha’s Vineyard at a time to be determined.

Baseball Loses Pair Of Games

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Felix Abreu. Photo by Chris Tran

The Whaler baseball team is still searching for their first win of the season following a pair of losses this week. The week began with an 11-1 loss on the road to St. John Paul II on Wednesday. Head coach Jack Pearson said this game was another instance of his young team not being outclassed despite what the score reflects.

“They can mash, and their pitchers were tough,” Pearson said of the Lions. “SJP is a good team.”

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Freshman catcher Eli MacIver has had a strong start to his first varsity season. Photo by Chris Tran
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Ronald Del Rosario Gomez. Photo by Chris Tran

On Thursday the baseball team hosted the Sturgis West Navigators for their home opener and lost 5-0. Senior Shea Dwyer was sharp on the mound and the Whalers, all in all, were solid in the field. Nantucket also had their fair share of opportunities to knock runners in who were in scoring position, in particularly in the middle innings, but the timely hitting wasn’t there.

The Whalers will look to win their first game of the season on Saturday, April 20 when they travel off-island for a doubleheader. They will play O’Bryant at 10 a.m. and Boston Latin Academy at 1 p.m.

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Shea Dwyer. Photo by Chris Tran


Friday, April 12:

Boys tennis will travel to Sturgis West for a 4 p.m. game (weather permitting).

Saturday, April 13:

Boys lacrosse team will travel to Bishop Stang for a 2 p.m. game.

For more coverage of all the Nantucket spring sports teams, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or X (Twitter). You can follow photographer Chris Tran by clicking here.

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