East Longmeadow men’s tennis defeats Northampton, Blue Devils’ Stefan Johnson wins first singles match (photos)


NORTHAMPTON – The East Longmeadow men’s tennis team kept their unbeaten season alive with a 4-1 win on Tuesday over Northampton on the road. The Spartans’ record is now 5-0 overall this season.

East Longmeadow’s Bryan Shields defeated Aidan Metz 6-4, 6-0 in the second singles, while Benjamin Giroux and Aman Khurana defeated Ethan Metz and Durrell Patrick of the Blue Devils 6-1, 6-1 in the opening doubles. Lukas de Blok and Viet-Anh Nguyen defeated Max Cahillane and Maitreya Abend 6-0, 6-1 in the second doubles.

Stefan Johnson of the Blue Devils beat Ryan Morneau of East Longmeadow in the opening singles 6-0, 6-1. The Blue Devils lost a third single.

Northampton and the Spartans faced off to open each other’s season on May 11. East Longmeadow came out of this confrontation with a 4-1 victory.

Spartans coach Jeff Morneau said on Tuesday that what impresses him the most about his squad this season is that some of them are new to the squad, but have adapted quickly and that there isn’t a big drop in who’s at the top of the team. list down.

“We’re all competitive,” said Giroux. “We all see each other as equal. “

In their first doubles match, Giroux and Khurana took advantage of his volleying opportunities to move towards victory.

In the opening singles, the clash between Johnson and Morneau was the second duet of the season. Johnson also earned a victory over Morneau in their season opener, 6-1, 6-2.

With a game against Morneau already under his belt, Johnson felt like he had a better idea of ​​how to attack the game the second time around for a more decisive victory.

“This time he hasn’t come to the net as much as he did last time around,” Johnson said. “The last time we played he managed to take a few games off my serve by coming back and coming to the net caught me off guard. I think I was better prepared this time. I think a lot of what I couldn’t do the first time around was take him out of the middle and make him run, but this time I think I was able to hit my shots and to finish.

Johnson was a Super 7 selection entering the 2020 season. He won the Western Mass Individual Tennis Tournament Championship. in 2019 and was named Male Tennis Player of the Year at the end of that season.

Without a high school season last spring, Johnson continued to play year round outside of school. On the eve of his final season with the Blue Devils, his goal is to stay healthy. In his second season, he battled an elbow injury and a shoulder injury in 2020.

He hopes that being more consistent with his services will help him.

“Getting my consistency on the serve and not overdoing it,” Johnson said. “I also play with different spins.”

Johnson is the only senior on the Blue Devils roster this season that features an eighth-grader and mostly sub-classes. He relishes the opportunity to be the senior veteran of a young team and have the ability to help teach the next generation of Northampton tennis players.

“It’s fun,” Johnson said. “I like to be a role model for them. During practice a lot of it is about instructing, teaching and helping them work on their game. A lot of what I do in training is getting balls and helping run. . It’s a great leadership position for me and to help them when I’m gone.


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