A 16-0 record, including a victory in the New England Class B final — indeed, the Brunswick School tennis team’s 2018 season couldn’t have been more perfect.
Some of the faces have changed from last season’s championship squad, but the Bruins’ expectations have certainly remained the same.
“We definitely want to replicate what we did last year,” said Brunswick senior co-captain Ben Powis, one of the returning players from last year’s dominant team. “We went 16-0 and won the New England championship as well, so we definitely want the same result. From last year’s team, we lost some seniors and depth, but we have good freshmen and sophomores to fill in those gaps.”
Powis mostly played at No. 2 singles and saw doubles action when the Bruins played New England foes. In the New England Interscholastic Tennis Association Class B finals against Roxbury Latin last season, Powis won his match at the second singles spot, 6-0, 6-1.
“Last year was so exciting, for the seniors graduating, it was a good way for them to go out,” Powis said. “We really worked hard to reach that point and our hard work paid off in the final.”
Coached by Ryan Abraham, Brunswick also returns junior co-captain Ryan Glanville to its lineup. Glanville also experienced plenty of success during the Bruins’ championship run last spring. He competed at the third singles spot in the majority of his matches and also fared well in doubles play.
“Winning the New England title last year was so awesome,” said Glanville, who was a straight-set winner in his match in the New England Class B championship match last season. “It was a close match and we had a lot of fun storming the court after it was over. We are a really young team this year, which is great. We are going to be great in the coming years and this year, so it should be fun.”
The 2018 season also saw Brunswick win the FAA regular season championship for the third straight season.
“Last year was a really memorable year,” Abraham said. “We had a perfect season and we beat tough teams throughout the season, getting wins against teams like Choate and Cheshire Academy. This year, are top four players are within arm’s length of each other, so we have a lot of depth.”
AT THE HELM: Abraham is beginning his fourth season as Brunswick’s coach. The Bruins went undefeated in 2018 and captured their first NEITA Class B championship for the first time since 2015.
WHO’S GONE?: Willie Turchetta, who starred at first singles last season for the Bruins, graduated and is a member of the Amherst College tennis team. He was a senior captain of the squad.
John DeLucia and Hayden Hoover, both of whom were successful in singles and doubles action, graduated, as did singles player Clark Davis.
Turchetta was selected to the All-FAA team and Hoover was an All-FAA Honorable mention selection.
THIS YEAR’S LINEUP: After turning in a standout junior season, Powis is gearing up for a highly productive senior year on the court. He is vying for one of the top singles positions in the lineup.
“Ben Powis has always been considered the wall, where everything you throw at him he will put it back at you just to see what you can do,” Abraham said. “Mentally, he is one of the strongest players on the court.”
Glanville, an All-FAA Team member in 2018, should also power the Bruins at one of the top singles spots.
“Ryan Glanville’s second serve is indistinguishable from his first serve and he is getting taller every year,” Abraham said. “His serve is a big strength.”
Evan Lee, a freshman, should bolster the singles lineup. Like a good number of his teammates, he’s also active on the junior tennis circuit throughout the year. Sophomore Aidan Reilly is coming off a freshman campaign in which he earned All-FAA honors after excelling in singles and doubles competition.
“Reilly has gotten stronger than last year and has added even more ability and Evan is an all-around talent,” Abraham said.
Joining the mix this spring is senior Christian Hartch, who figures to add depth on the singles side.
On the doubles side, the Bruins have a group of freshman, sophomores and juniors who are competing for positions.
STRENGTHS: Versatility is one of Brunswick’s assets. When the Bruins play against FAA teams, the match follows a four singles, three doubles format. Against NEPSAC opponents, Brunswick will follow a six singles, three doubles format, with each singles player also playing doubles. Abraham’s squad possesses the versatility to compete in each match format.
“We are all really solid players, we can all play anywhere from No. 1 to No. 4 in singles,” Powis said. “We’re all really strong and we all play at around the same level. Doubles as well, we all like to play doubles.”
The Bruins should be tough to top in singles competition.
“Our team has a lot of players who compete in tournaments in the offseason,” Abraham said. “We have players who have a lot of match experience and can handle tough situations.”
CAPTAIN’S COMMENT: “Our goal is to repeat what we did last year,” Glanville said. “Winning the title again would be awesome.”