2008-04-09 / Sports

Metuchen tennis gets off on the right foot

BY SHAWN LAYTON Staff Writer

For the first time in head coach Rob Strauss's career, the Metuchen High School boys tennis team has a freshman at No. 1 singles. While the youngster may take his share of lumps this season, the experience can only bode well for the future of theMetuchen tennis program.

Freshman Dan Szwarc got his first taste of varsity tennis last week and was impressive in a three-set loss and in his first win, a three-set victory over Dunellen's Brock Mundy.

In the season opener, a 4-1Metuchenwin over South Amboy, Szwarc lost to South Amboy's Kevin Kotsak 6-3, 4-6, 4-6.

"Dan was rightfully nervous in his first match," Strauss said. "He played a very tough opponent right from the start. Kevin Kotsak was anAll-Blue Division player last year and looks to be in top form again. I think Dan's ability to bounce back and win his nextmatch, another three-setter, showed a lot about his maturity."

Although Szwarc was unable to win his first match against South Amboy's Kotsak, his teammates pulled out the team victory with wins fromNo. 2 singles player Jeff Victor, No. 3 singles player Alex Adamowsky, No. 1 doubles teamof Brian Frowenfeld and Nick Sereda, and the No. 2 doubles team of Alex Storts and Nick Roberts.

Victor, last year's No. 1 singles player, won his match 6-0, 6-4 while Adamowsky also cruised in straight sets, winning 6-0, 6- 1.

"Having Jeff at No. 2 gives us a really strong lineup," Strauss said. "He fared extremely well in the Blue Division last year and his experience at No. 1 should give him the confidence to do well at No. 2."

Both Victor andAdamowskywere on the losing end in their respectivematches in the team's 3-2 loss to Dunellen. Up 5-4 in the third set, Victor could not hold offDunellen's Arthur Silva and lost 3-6, 7-6, 5-7. Adamowsky lost to Eric Ruiz 5-7, 4-6.

"Alex has improved significantly from last year," Strauss said. "He played a lot at No. 3 last season and he's getting betterwith each match. He's a real competitor and he works hard for every single point."

This year's teamhas the luxury of carrying a number of players that can fill the four doubles slots and perform at high levels. After Frowenfeld and Seredawon the opener against South Amboy 6-3, 6-0, the duo lost to Kevin Weaver and Pat Sweeney of Dunellen, 0-6, 4-6.

"Their styles fit each other really well, and I expect them to bounce back from the Dunellen loss," Strauss said. "Nick missed all of last seasonwith a shoulder injury, so it is nice to have him back. He's got a nice, big serve, and Brian has excellent hands at the net." After Storts and Roberts picked up the 6- 1, 6-1 win against South Amboy at No. 2 doubles, Storts teamed upwithNeal Shelley for the Dunellen match. The tandem got off to a slow start but won the match in three sets 2-6, 6-2, 6-1.

"Neal is in his first-year season with the team and he's right there with the other guys and battling for a spot on the doubles court," Strauss said. "He's a good athlete and a smart kid, and that should take him far."

Also expected to see action on the doubles court this year is seniorAdamClarkson, junior Andrew Brath and sophomore Robert Clarkson.

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