BENNINGTON -- High school tennis is unique in that each match is won or lost by an individual, but as a whole, it's a team accomplishment.
In this arena, it's nice to have teammates that can back you up.
Blake Greenawalt, Mount Anthony's No. 1 singles player, found this out first-hand on Monday, losing his individual match. But his teammates won all their matches in a 6-1 win over Hartford at the Bennington Rec Center.
"That's definitely the great thing about tennis. I've been on the flip side of it, when I win and we lose [as a team]," Greenawalt said. "It's great the team comes together to pull it off. I'm down, but I shouldn't be, we won the match."
The No. 1 single between Greenawalt and Hartford's Loriston Fennell started off very even, with the two trading the first eight games to make it 4-4.
Tied, Fennell used two unforced errors from Greenawalt on shots that were long to go ahead 5-4. Then, on double set point, Fennell rallied to the net and Greenawalt couldn't return a volley as Fennell won the first set.
"In the first set we were even, both confident, but he finished the first set out and that boosted his confidence," Greenawalt said. "Usually I'm good mentally, but I couldn't get it off my back."
With the momentum heading his way, Fennell pounced, winning the first three games of the second set. He took advantage of a couple double faults and good shot placement to build the lead.
"I tried to keep up the intensity, but I think I let back a little because I didn't want to make unforced errors, that's where you lose a lot of points," Greenawalt said.
Down 3-0, Greenawalt served and won four points in a row, smashing a cross-court winner to get on the board.
But Fennell finished off the win, breaking Greenawalt's serve to make it 5-1 and winning all four points to seal it.
"We were going back and forth, having a lot of good rallies," Greenawalt said. "Sometimes when guys are close to winning a set, they have trouble with it, but he did a very good job of finishing."
Hartford coach Joe Denny said that Fennell is 5-1 individually, even though the team is 1-5 overall.
"He's been consistent all year, and we're working on developing his game," Denny said. "We're urging him to take control of his matches and dictate the play."
MAU No. 2 Brian Murphy dominated his opponent, Evan Brown, bageling him 6-0, 6-0. No. 3 Hao Guo had little trouble with Andrew Files in a 6-1, 6-1 win and No. 4 Flavio Iudica rolled in the quickest match of the day, a 6-1, 6-0 triumph over Inderjit Singh.
No. 5 Ben Michon was in the only match of the afternoon to reach three sets as he pulled out his first varsity singles win, a 6-3, 1-6 (10-6) tiebreaker against George Spearing.
"He was excited to get in a match," said MAU coach Ken Turn, who said that Michon had won two of his first three matches by forfeit. "He cruised through the first set, then lost the second ... and he could have been discouraged, but he was determined to win."
"I was proud of George coming back strong in the second set after struggling in the first," Denny said. "I think he ran out of gas a little bit in the tiebreaker ... if you lose focus for a minute, you're down three or four points."
In the only doubles match, Austin Ulrich and Hasiq Qari scored their first win as a varsity pair, a 6-4, 6-1 sweep against DJ Clifton and Spencer Rugg.
"They needed [that win], there's been no luck for Austin and Hasiq," Turn said. "It's a great confidence booster for them, [they're] starting to click as a team. Austin's veteran play really helped out."
No. 2 doubles Nick Gauthier and Dylan Boulet won by forfeit. MAU is 2-2 and travels to Rutland next.