St. John’s boys’ tennis outlasts Shrewsbury


St. John’s boys’ tennis outlasts Shrewsbury
A Shrewsbury player redirects the ball back to the St. John’s players. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

SHREWSBURY – An inter-town rivalry was renewed last Friday as the St. John’s Pioneers defeated the Shrewsbury Colonials by a score of 4-1 in a hard-fought afternoon of boys’ tennis.

The Pioneers decisively took the first two singles games. Hriday Karthik won in straight sets (6-1, 6-2) against Shrewsbury’s Krish Gupta, and Agamjot Kukreja defeated Mihir Patil in a similar fashion (6-0, 6-3).  

However, after standout Shrewsbury freshman Tysan Dang defeated Tejas Balaji (6-2, 6-2), closing the gap between the Pioneers and Colonials to 2-1, the attention shifted toward the two highly competitive doubles matches. 

On one court, St. John’s Arjun Nargolwala and Lukas Pannenborg took the court against Shrewsbury’s Raghav Kanzaria and Harish Rajagopalan. Kanzaria and Rajagopalan took the first set 6-4 for the Colonials, but Nargolwala and Pannenborg battled back and won the second set 6-2 to even the match. 

On the other court, St. John’s Andrew D’Angelo and Rushil Mohan won the first set 6-4, while Shrewsbury’s Arjun Kataria and Shrikar Jemolla won the second set 6-3. 

The crowd – mostly from St. John’s, although several Shrewsbury fans made the short trip – descended upon the adjacent courts holding the two doubles matches. Loud cheers came from both fanbases. Shrewsbury needed to win both doubles matches to defeat the St. John’s team, and after two back-and-forth sets, nobody quite knew which players were going to emerge victorious and capture the momentum.

However, St. John’s soon took control of both matches. Nargolwala and Pannenborg took the third set 6-2, while D’Angelo and Mohan blanked the Shrewsbury team in their deciding set, winning 6-0.

The loss ended a five-game winning streak for the Colonials, who had been dominating their competition. Now 6-3, Shrewsbury faces two red-hot teams – Westborough and Longmeadow – over the next week. 

St. John’s improved its record to 5-3 and will open May against Catholic Memorial before traveling to Danvers to face an undefeated St. John’s Preparatory School team. 

The Pioneers and the Colonials will meet again at Shrewsbury High School on May 11.

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