Sabers’ Goddard rules on the court
The high school tennis season officially came to an end late this week with two local doubles teams bowing in the boys and girls finals,
However, earlier in the week, for the second straight year, Souhegan High School has a boys state singles tennis champion.
Junior Sam Goddard captured the crown Tuesday, topping Bedford’s No. 1 seed Jason Boucher, 6-1, 6-4 at Pinkerton Academy.
Goddard, who entered the tourney as the third seed, followed in the footsteps of Matt Lapsley, who won the title as a Saber senior last year.
He finished a superb season as the Sabers No. 1 singles player, and in the individual tourney also topped No. 2 seed Pinkerton’s Seb Tonini in a tough semifinal battle, 1-6, 6-4, and 10-4 in the tiebreaker. He also beat Portsmouth’s Ryan Porter, Dover’s Max Casey, and Concord’s Liam Grennon (quarters) en route to the crown.
But the other story of the individual tourney was the trip to the finals by Alvirne’s freshman brother tandem of Peyton and Ashton Muse, seeded second. They bested Souhegan’s No. 8 seeded Goddard tandem (Sam and Josh) in the semis on Thursday and were one set away from the state title before falling to the Pinkerton duo of Tonini and John Marineau 6-1, 3-6 (7-10 tiebreaker).
In the girls doubles semis, Bishop Guertin’s No. 2 seeded tandem of Amy Maalouf and Hannah Gilbertson topped Derryfield’s third seeded duo of Emma Place/Abi Leonardi in the semis 6-1, 7-6 (7-4) before falling to Bedford’s No. 1 duo of Carley Citron and Taylor Suozzo in the finals, 6-3, 6-1.
The area had another semifinal team in Nashua South’s fourth-seeded team of Kaitlin Fitzgibbons and Meghana Avvaru, but the were beaten by Citron/Taylor in the semis, 6-4, 6-2.
Meanwhile, Maalouf earlier in the week made quite a run before falling to top seed Bedford’s Citron, 6-2, 6-0. Like Goddard, Maalouf, seeded second in the tourney, also had a tough semifinal, beating fellow local Leann Grosso of Merrimack, who was the sixth seed, in a 10-6 tiebreaker after splitting the first two sets, 6-3, 3-6.
Maalouf also bested Guertin teammate Katelyn Nichols in the quarters 8-1, Pinkerton’s Chloe Freedman 8-5 and Bow’s Olivia Parzick 8-3 in the earlier rounds.