June 18, 2009
By Mal Boright
The odds favored the Champlain Valley Union High boys tennis team.
Observer photo by Greg Duggan
David Hilderbrand (left) and Marc Vecchio, co-captains of the Champlain Valley Union High School boys tennis team, watch teammates warm up for last Thursday’s Division 1 title matches.
Twice victorious over the South Burlington High Rebels during the regular season, coach Frank Babbott’s 13-1 Redhawks were top-seeded for the set of championship matches last Thursday; the 10-6 Rebs came onto the courts at Davis Park in Shelburne as seventh seed.
South Burlington then completed its run through the tournament by bumping off CVU 5-2 in the matches that, once started, had to be switched to the University of Vermont’s indoor courts due to thunder and potential storms.
It was the third straight Division 1 crown for South Burlington and its sixth in the last eight seasons. In 2008, the Rebels charged from sixth seed to win.
Keys to the South Burlington triumph were wins by its top three players over CVU’s ranking racket men.
The Hawks’ top slammer, David Hilderbrand, fell to the Rebels’ Steve Bolger in an epic struggle, 6-3, 4-6 and 7-5. It was Bolger’s first win this season over the CVU star.
In the second slot, South Burlington’s Mark Mallory lost to the Redhawks’ Marc Vecchio 3-6 in the first set, but then rallied for 6-3 and 6-2 victories.
The number three pairing went to the Rebels’ Brad Cole over CVU’s Tabor deGroot, 6-3 and 6-0.
The Red and White wins came from Liam Kelley in straight sets singles and the doubles team of Will Hurd and Corey Dawson, also in straight sets.
CVU’s only other loss this season was to Stowe High, which was top-seeded in the Division 2 championship.