Luke Curnin of Mt. Ararat follows through on a forehand during Mt. Ararat’s 5-0 preliminary round win over Cony on Tuesday at Mt. Ararat Middle School in Topsham. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

TOPSHAM — As the days get warmer and the sun sets later, the feeling of summer is just around the corner. But before spring ends, there are games and matches to be won, and team champions to be crowned in high school sports across the state for the first time since February 2020.

That all began Tuesday, with the team tennis postseason kicking off with preliminary rounds taking place.

“It’s an exciting time of year for our sport,” said Jack Rioux, who is in his first season as coach of the Eagles. “We’ve been playing well and seem to be hitting our stride at the right time, I know the team is ready for whatever is thrown their way.”

Mt. Ararat flexed its muscles on Tuesday, downing Cony 5-0 in a Class A North preliminary match at Mt. Ararat Middle School in Topsham.

The No. 5 seeded Eagles (9-4) move on to face No. 4 Mt. Blue (10-2) on Thursday. Mt. Blue received a bye in the first round.

With the unique schedule in place this season surrounding COVID-19 protocols, much of the conference is an unknown to the Eagles.

“It’s going to be a mystery, we didn’t know how heal points or the schedule would work coming into the year so we knew this could be the case,” said Rioux in regards to Thursday’s match with Mt. Blue. “I just told the guys all tennis courts are the same size, and to keep an open mind, if we do that everything else will come to us.”

Andrew Rancourt of Cony hits a serve during his match against Mt. Ararat in a preliminary round match in Topsham on Tuesday. Eli Canfield/The Times Record

For the No. 12 Rams (3-10) their season of rebuilding and retooling comes to a close.

“We’ve come a long way from the beginning of the season,” said Cony first-year coach Scott Munroe, who is also in his first year as coach. “We have done some good things this season and the players are the sole reason why.”

With only five healthy players and six players in the program, the Rams were forced to forfeit the second doubles portion of the match as they had done for a majority of the season.

“It’s been tough to be in our situation, but like I said I’ve been really impressed with this group of young men,” added Munroe. “We have a lot of guys here who have a lot to look forward to.”

The Eagles needed just two wins to clinch the match, something they had no problem doing in quick time.

“Our singles have been playing great, it’s really just us remaining on the top of our game,” said Mt. Ararat standout Zander Chown, who cruised to a 6-0, 6-0 victory over Will Rancourt. “We’ve really been improving in doubles, which is something that will be crucial to us coming up soon.”

Chown has dropped just two matches all year, and just one in team play.

“I think I’ve been playing really well,” Chown said. “The improvements that I’ve made since the last time I was playing for Mt. Ararat is definitely paying off now.”

In the second singles match, Luke Curnin of Mt. Ararat beat Cony’s Martin Serrusca 6-1, 6-1, the only Cony player to win a game. Landon Weaver disposed of Eric McDonnell in third singles 6-0, 6-0. In doubles, Alex Liva and Ben Anderson downed Camden Sirios and Tyler Foster 6-0, 6-0 to secure the Eagles’ sweep.

“I love being around these guys, so I’m excited for the bus ride up to Farmington,” said Rioux.

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