Photo: The team celebrating with final four banner after Monday’s victory
A dominate display of tennis against five-seed and previously undefeated Sharon High Monday, June 13, has Belmont High Boys’ Tennis advancing to the Final Four of the MIAA Division 2 state championship where the Marauders’ take on number 1 ranked Concord-Carlisle High School on Wednesday, June 15 at Newton South High at 4 p.m.
The five game sweep of the visiting Eagles – taking the three singles and both doubles matches – marks the third consecutive time Belmont has shut out its opponent in this year’s tournament. The 5-0 whitewashing was highlighted by three 2-0 set victories by the team’s singles: Junior number 1 Alek Karagozyan, senior number 2 Ezra Copes-Finke, and senior number 3 Charlie November. Karagozyan and Copes-Finke won their first sets 6-0 while November came through with a pair of 6-2 wins, allowing both doubles – led by first Dani Karma and Nitish Bhatta – to play without pressure of must wins.
“They’re a tough team,” said Copes-Finke. “I knew that if I played my best match I could beat my opponent. I think it was a little more dominant that I thought it was going to be, but that just proves that I should believe in myself a little more.”
The overall play from Belmont in the tournament “has been incredible,” said Karagozyan. “Even when we felt like we were in control , we didn’t let up in our intensity. We just kept going.”
In his match, while the score line may have shown Karagozyan in control from the start, “it certainly was close as [the Sharon 1] had a really good serve, so I had to consistently fight to break his serve and hold mine.”
Know for his endless energy on the court, November has been described by opponents as a “pusher” which he accepts saying that “it takes skill to be [one.]”
“I’m athletic. I’ll run around all match. They want to talk? Six two, six two says otherwise,” said November.
Next up is the Patriots which have won the two most recent MIAA Division 2 state championships in 2019 and 2021. The teams have one common opponent in Lexington, both losing to the Minutemen: 5-0 vs CC and 4-1 against Belmont.
“They’re really good. I know the number one and he’s a phenomenal player with a great, great game,” said Karagozyan. “I’m excited to go out there and battle with him on Wednesday,” adding this Belmont lineup is prepared for the challenge.
“The camaraderie this season has been insane. I’ve never been prouder to play on this team” he said.