Westborough boys tennis falls to Concord-Carlisle in state finals

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Westborough’s Nishith Sura continues a volley during Saturday’s Division II boys tennis state finals match against Concord-Carlisle. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

WESTBOROUGH – The Westborough High School (WHS) boys tennis team came up just short in its bid for a state title on Saturday, falling to Concord-Carlisle in the state finals.

With wind at times whipping across the duPont Center tennis courts on the campus of MIT, the Rangers had eyed an upset of the top-ranked Patriots.

Concord-Carlisle emerged victorious, however, leaving Cambridge on the winning side of a 3-2 final score.

“The outcome wasn’t what I would have liked but I’m still happy,” Westborough Head Coach Leonard O’Neil told reporters after the loss. “..The future is bright.”

Westborough previously faced Concord-Carlisle

Westborough won its way into the state finals with a quartet of playoff victories, most recently defeating Duxbury 4-1 on Tuesday in the state semifinals.

Beyond playoffs, the team had maintained a 14-match win streak dating back to April 28.

That’s when the Rangers previously dropped a 5-0 match to the same Concord-Carlisle squad that they faced this weekend.

“We didn’t play particularly well against them the first time,” O’Neil said on Saturday. “We played much better [this time].”

Coach notes tennis resurgence

The boys team took the court on Saturday alongside the Westborough girls team, which was also competing for a state championship.

“Tennis is sort of having a resurgence right now across the board,” O’Neil said of the influx of talent helping drive these playoff runs.

He continued, also noting a more cyclical pattern in high school sports.

“Sometimes you have an abundance of talent,” he said. “Some years, the talent isn’t there. We just happen to be hitting it right at the same time.”

“They feed off each other,” he continued. “…They like each other. And they hit with each other. So, I think that helps fuel them.”

‘Keep knocking on the door’

Playing this year alongside their WHS classmates on the girls team, the Westborough boys team’s loss to Concord-Carlisle does, likewise, mark a second consecutive season now ending with a state finals defeat.

Westborough previously navigated its way to the finals last spring, only to fall to Burlington in that contest.

O’Neil acknowledged this in comments to his players on Saturday.

“Keep knocking on the door,” he said. “Eventually it will open.”

“Don’t give up,” he continued. “Keep fighting hard, keep working at it and it eventually will happen.”

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