Colts hit all the right notes

Colts hit all the right notes


Colts hit all the right notes



Andrew Tort is an accomplished musician.

A jazz pianist, the senior is a member of the Christian Brothers Academy Jazz Ensemble. Tort recently won the Jazz Ensemble Division at the Jazz Heritage Music Festival in Williamsburg, Va.

Tort and junior Jack Fitzsimmons are two of the major reasons the Colts have made sweet music on the tennis court where they are 11-0 at first doubles.

The duo helped the fourth-seeded Colts (11-0) past No. 5 Monmouth 5-0 in the Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinals at the Sullivan Courts on Friday.

“Playing the jazz piano is a lot of fun,” Tort said. “Which is more fun, playing music or tennis? It depends on the mood I am in. Sometimes, I crave music. Sometimes, I crave tennis.”

Tort and Fitzsimmons went 25-2 last season at first doubles when the Colts went 19-3 and won the NJSAA Non-Public A championship.

“We have good chemistry,” Tort said. “We enjoy playing together. We work well together. We are a good team within the team.”

Tort and Fitzsimmons beat the Falcons’ Zach St. John and Austin DeOrio 6-2, 6-1. Tort credited the play of Fitzsimmons and he to first-year CBA assistant coach Mary Mottola.

“She has taught us the I formation and Australian doubles,” Tort said. “That helps us win in different ways. She is the voice of reason when we get flustered or nervous. She is good at pointing us in the right direction so that we are offensive in our matches. So far, it has worked wonders. She tell us little things like, ‘Hit down the middle,’ or, ‘Go at the net guy.’ “

Tort said Fitzsimmons and he have similar abilities.

“We are relatively even,” Tort said. “That’s why we work so well together. We don’t worry about impressing or disappointing the other player.”

Tort, a 6-foot-1, 175-pounder, and Fitzsimmons passed on playing singles for the Colts this season.

“I love how quick doubles is,” Tort said. “I love playing the net as I am the taller guy. Doubles is much more fast-paced than singles. I love the intensity of it.”

It was an emotional Friday for Tort and the remainder of the Colts’ seniors as it was their final day of classes. Plus, several players attended the CBA Senior Prom and the Manasquan Junior Prom on Friday night.

“It hit me in the second period that this was my final day of classes,” said Tort, who will major in finance at Boston College. “This is the end of this phase of my life. Tennis really is a brotherhood. We have been together for four years and we will be lifelong friends.”

The Colts displayed strength in other flights. Junior Anthony Dein (11-0) downed Ivan Romano 6-3, 6-2 at first singles. Dein has lost only one set this season.

“I have been playing consistently,” Dein said. “It’s a good team effort as the team is there when I am down on myself. I try to stay consistent from the baseline and try to outlast my opponent.”

Senior Mike Montanelli (11-0) beat Vanni Roa 6-1, 6-2 at second singles. Freshman Sean Reilly (8-1) defeated Greg Wall 6-1, 6-1. At second doubles, senior Mike Finan and sophomore Justin Pellegrino (7-2) felled Nico Ludden and Mike Montifinese 6-0, 6-1.

“We have a great group of young men,” CBA coach Dan Keane said. “They all get along well. We have a good mix of youth with its enthusiasm and our veterans know what to do.”

The Colts will visit Holmdel in the semifinals 3:45 p.m. Tuesday.

HOLMDEL 5, COLTS NECK 0: The top-seeded Hornets (16-2) defeated the No. 8 Cougars (6-4) in the quarterfinals.

TR EAST 3, FREEHOLD TWP. 2: The No. 7 Raiders (10-0) ousted the No. 10 Patriots (6-6) from the round of 16.

RUMSON-FAIR HAVEN 4, FREEHOLD 1: The No. 6 Bulldogs (7-4) beat the No. 11 Colonials (5-6) in the round of 16.

WALL 5, MATAWAN 0: The Crimson Knights (14-3, 11-0) clinched Class B North, downing the Huskies.

More USA TODAY High School Sports