Hamilton tennis checked off two season goals last week. On May 2, the Chargers defeated Wauwatosa East, marking the first time that's happened in program history. Hamilton also picked up wins against West Allis Hale, Watertown and Janesville Craig. The victories set Hamilton's win total at 14, which is a school record.
But the season hasn't gone exactly according to plan. Coming into the year, HHS coach Alan Schneider felt confident in his singles lineup. The doubles lineup was a mystery early on. Now, because of injuries to several singles players, doubles has brought in the most wins.
In a 4-3 loss to Waunakee on May 7 at a quad at Brandt Quirk Park in Watertown, the Chargers' doubles teams were strong. At No. 1 doubles, Josh Anderson and Nick Pellechia won, 6-4, 7-5. Luke Walters and Max Stacey were also victorious at No. 2 doubles, 6-2, 6-2. Andy O'Neill and Connor Rhodes got yet another doubles victory at the third flight with a 6-7(2), 6-3, 10-6 win.
With top singles player Tony Moore sidelined with a hand injury until subsectionals, Alex Moore was tasked with being at No. 1 singles. However, the younger Moore was also injured (groin) on May 7.
'This is the third singles player to be out for multiple matches,' Schneider said. 'Chris Anderson stepped in to take over the top spot. With his win over Janesville Craig, Chris may be the first player in school history to claim a victory at each of the four singles positions in one season.'
Against Watertown on May 7, Hamilton was without two players because of prom obligations, but still won, 4-3.
'With four players missing from the normal lineup, we had to shuffle the lineup, placing new players in new positions,' Schneider said. 'As it has been the story of the week, the doubles teams came through. Nick and Josh remained dominate at one doubles. Alex Moore and Connor Rhodes joined together for a win at two, with Devin McMurry and Myles Packer bringing home a win at three.'
Even with the setbacks, Hamilton has found different and unexpected ways to win.
'It was a great accomplishment to set the school record of wins, perhaps because so many obstacles had to be overcome to reach 14 wins,' Schneider said. 'The players were all in on this goal as well. The flexibility and positive attitude of my players is exceptional. No one complains about being put in a new position; they approach each match as an opportunity to win, to play great. One motivating factor was when I brought out the past records, showing the 2008 team only had one victory the entire season. From this point on, we were all in this together.'