Spruce Mountain coach Bill Acritelli addresses the players before the Phoenix and Carrabec Cobras square off in a tennis match at Kineowatha Park in Wilton on Tuesday. Sun Journal photo by Tony Blasi

WILTON — The Spruce Mountain boys tennis team is on the verge of making a postseason appearance — and coach Bill Acritelli credits team unity for the Phoenix’s success.

Spruce Mountain (5-4) slipped away with a 3-2 victory over winless Carrabec (0-7) at wind-battered Kineowatha Park on a cold Tuesday afternoon and helped the Phoenix solidify a playoff slot in Class B South.

“The’s our fifth win of the season,” Acritelli said. “Not a lot Heal points, but every win helps — a lot more morale for the kids.”

Of course, depth and experience also had something to do with the Phoenix’s success, but the Spruce coach insisted this season has been about “the unity of the team.”

“They all get along; they practice well together,” Acritelli explained, “and they really enjoy playing the game. It is really, really a fun sport.

“(Depth) does help, but generally you play your best players and the other ones will play exhibition, and if you have somebody sick, obviously you have somebody to plug in.

“I have been lucky this year. All my best players are still chugging along and that makes you happy.” 

In singles matches, Owen Bryant was the only Spruce player to prevail, with the Phoenix freshman beating Carrabec’s Brody Miller, 10-2, in No. 3 singles.

But the most grueling and exciting match of the afternoon was when Spruce junior Cam Cain squared off against Carrabec standout Scott Mason in No. 1 singles. Cain and Mason battled back and forth before Mason came out on top with 10-10 (7-2) victory.

“He’s (Cain) relentless,” Acritelli said. “He was down three points and came back and tied it up and had to go to overtime.

“He did lose the match, but he has only lost one match this year — that Carrabec kid (Mason). And so Cam was coming with the intent that he wanted to play his best match and by far this was his best match this year. Whether its been his serves, overhand volleys…he did a great, great job.” 

Carrabec’s second singles player, Liam Serafine, defeated Drew Delaney, 10-2.

In doubles play, the Phoenix had more success. Spruce Mountain’s Scott Jackson and Cam Souther teamed up to defeat Demitri Turcotte and Adam Lawrence, 10-3. Spruce’s second doubles team, Jon Brenner and Mike Shaw, had a light day, winning by forfeit.

But ask Acritelli if this year has been special season, and he will come back with “Yeah, of course, but every year is special.”

“Any time I get to coach kids is special,” he added. “If we make playoffs, it will be the first for me as a coach in tennis that we made the playoffs and that will be big for these kids. That’s what they are looking for — they want to make the playoffs.”

 

Spruce Mountain singles player Cam Cain returns the ball in a tennis match against Carrabec’s Sam Mason at Kineowatha Park in Wilton on Tuesday. Sun Journal photo by Tony Blasi

Spruce Mountain doubles player Cameron Souther returns the ball in a tennis match at Kineowatha Park in Wilton on Tuesday. Sun Journal photo by Tony Blasi

Spruce Mountain freshman Drew Delaney goes after the ball in a tennis match against Carrabec’s Liam Serafine at Keneowatha Park in Wilton on Tuesday afternoon. Sun Journal photo by Tony Blasi

Spruce Mountain freshman Owen Bryant returns the ball against Carrabec’s Brody Miller in a tennis match at Kineowatha Park in Wilton on Tuesday afternoon. Sun Journal photo by Tony Blasi


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