Mariners advance to semis

Mariners advance to semis

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Mariners advance to semis

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TOMS RIVER

Experience proved to be a deciding factor, as No. 4 Toms River North defeated No. 5 CBA in a Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinal match 3-2 on Tuesday. With the match deadlocked at 2, the second doubles duo of Daniele Camilli and Troy Fitzsimmons came up big for the Mariners, outlasting the Colts’ Mike Finan and Anthony Iannacone 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.

Mariner head coach Steve Hill credits the Mariners’ tough early half of the schedule to their SCT quarterfinal victory.

“We had a couple matches that went three sets today,” Hill said.

“One of the reasons we schedule some of our tougher earlier matches, is so we could be ready to handle these pressure situations.”

Hill wasn’t sure if his second doubles team knew that the match had come down to them, but after splitting the first two sets, Camilli and Fitzsimmons put things away for the Mariners in the third set.

“They absolutely said that they knew the match came down to them,” Hill said.

“It was good too see them handle that final set with all the pressure on.”

The match would not have even come down to the second doubles duo had it not been for the Mariners second singles’ Mirish Shah. CBA had already opened a 2-1 lead with second singles and second doubles still on the courts. After taking the first set, Shah lost to CBA’s Anthony Dein in a second-set tiebreaker 6-7 (5).

With the momentum seemingly on Dein’s side, Shah shot out to a 5-0 lead in the decisive third set, and closed out the match at 6-2 for his 85th career victory for the Mariners.

“Mirish is a tough kid,” Hill said.

“When you win that many matches over your career you’re definitely a competitor.”

Adam Lefkandinos secured the other point for the Mariners after he defeated Mike Montanelli 6-1, 6-4.

“It was very windy today, and I tried to use it to my advantage,” Lefkandinos said.

“I tried to kick out my serve the best I could, and just played consistent tennis.”

Lefkandinos knew it was going to be a battle against the always competitive Colts, but was happy with the way his team responded.

“They are always a tough team, but our second doubles came up really big for us,” Lefkandinos said.

“It was a really good team win.”

CBA head coach Dan Keane watched his young team come up just a bit short, but believes the future is bright for his squad.

“I’m pleased overall with the effort today,” Keane said.

“It was definitely a good learning experience, I think the veteran team was able to come away with the win today, though.”

Mark Robinson secured a point at third singles for the Colts after he defeated Dan Cuthbert 6-1, 6-2, and the first doubles duo of Jack Fitzsimmons and Andrew Tort also won in straight sets over the Mariner’s Jordan Mallen and Brian Massa 6-1, 6-4.

Toms River North its off to top-seeded Holmdel on Thursday in a SCT semifinal match.

“We know it’s going to be a really tough task,” Hill said.

“We want to go up there and play the best tennis that we can.”

IN OTHER SCT MATCHES

HOLMDEL 5, MANALAPAN 0: Mike Chen won his match at first singles leading the top-seeded Hornets over the No. 9 Braves. Derek Liu also secured a point at second singles for the Hornets after he defeated Chris Natividad 6-0, 6-0.

WALL 5, RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN 0: Shane Jeffray clinched a point at first singles leading the No. 2 Knights over the No. 7 Bulldogs. Conner Prasad and Graham Graver also picked up points at second and third singles for the Knights.

MARLBORO 3, MANASQUAN 2: David Xie won the deciding point of the match at second singles leading the No. 3 Mustangs over the No. 6 Warriors. Kenny Lau and Raghav Gupta also secured a point at first doubles for the Mustangs.

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