Greenwich and Ridgefield each entered the FCIAC boys tennis tournament on a roll, with each squad sporting a five-match winning streak.
The Cardinals kept surging on Wednesday.
Receiving a pair of singles and doubles victories, fourth-seeded Greenwich posted a 4-1 home win over fifth-seeded Ridgefield in the quarterfinal-round of the FCIAC Tournament.
Greenwich advanced to Friday’s 4 p.m. FCIAC semifinals where they will visit top-seeded Staples. The Cards dealt the Wreckers their lone loss of the season, notching a 4-3 win on April 24. The victory snapped Staples’ long winning streak dating back to the 2016 season.
“It’s going to be a tough match,” GHS coach Ray Marschall said of facing Staples. “The schools have a pretty intense rivalry. We have a tremendous amount of respect for them. I’m sure ending their streak gave them a lot of incentive. Our team is motivated too.”
In a match featuring two of the better singles players in the FCIAC, Greenwich junior Justin Speaker defeated Tigers junior Brian Song at the No. 1 spot, 6-3, 6-3.
“Justin played a great match, he played lights out tennis,” Marschall said. “He played smart points and he became aggressive and went for winners when he had a chance. It’s so gratifying to see him have this type of confidence in his game.”
Greenwich’s second singles win came at the No. 4 spot, where senior Hayden Witmer beat junior Seth Prusko, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4. Witmer, who spent the whole regular season playing in doubles competition, mostly at the No. 1 spot, filled in for Matthew Luzzi, who was out sick.
“When we found out that Matt was not going to be able to play, Hayden said, ‘whatever is best for the team,’ I think I can do it,’” Marschall said. “He got it back after losing the first set and started playing much better. He showed his grit out there and showed the leadership of a captain.”
At second doubles juniors Stephan Brovig and James Cosby of the Cardinals were 6-2, 6-2 winners against sophomores Joe Campos/Emmett O’Malley.
“James and Stephan played really solid tennis, they made very few errors and hit high percentage, consistent shots,” Marschall said.
Third doubles saw juniors Kian Jian and James Papas register a 6-1, 6-1 victory against Ridgefield’s Carter Schroppe/Harrison Berger.
“They are a really good team, they know when to go for their shots,” Marschall said of his third doubles squad.
Ridgefield’s win came at third singles, where junior James Hourihan defeated Matthew Tamis, 6-0, 6-2. The No. 1 doubles match and No. 3 singles match were not completed, as GHS clinched got the four wins needed to clinch the victory.
“The Ridgefield team is a class act,” Marschall said. “They have good, solid players, which makes for a good rivalry.”