NEW CANAAN, Conn. A new rivalry may have been born on the tennis courts Monday afternoon.
The New Canaan High School boys tennis team survived a scare from an upstart Westhill squad that had surprised the league by starting 8-0. The match came down to a pair of three-set battles at the No. 1 and No. 5 singles, but New Canaan managed to grab a 5-2 victory.
Spencer Lambdin emerged as the unlikely hero, an alternate filling in at the No. 5 singles spot. He battled Westhills Nick Morelli to a 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 win, securing the match for the Rams.
It was a cool experience for me being an alternate. Just to get the opportunity to get the win is a cool thing, Lambdin said.
New Canaan swept the doubles behind a dominant showing by Patrick Newton and Jacob Reiss (6-1, 6-0) and a gritty win by Luke McDermott and Andrew Penchuck (6-3, 4-6, 6-2)
Westhill answered with wins in the No. 3 and 4 singles matches, knotting the day at two matches apiece. But Willie Burger made quick work of Danny Soifer (6-0, 6-0), setting the stage for Lambdin.
While Lambdin locked up the win, the most thrilling match of the day was a slugfest at the No. 1 singles spot between the teams two top players. Nick Laub outlasted Westhills Brandon Pomerance 6-7 (7-1), 6-3, 6-3 in a nearly two-and-a-half hour battle.
Laub said he was impressed with how far the Westhill program has come. It was a really fun match. [Brandon] played me really well, Laub said. They were tied for number one in the conference. It doesnt matter what their schedule was they were number one and we were two. So we knew it was going to be a tough match.
New Canaan (11-1) travels to Trumbull on Wednesday for a 4 p.m. match.
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