The Edgemont Panthers went into the week looking to close out their fifth straight league title and head strong into the Section 1 Team Tournament.
With an 11-4 regular season record, a league title and a No. 4 seed, the Panthers accomplished their regular season goals.
First, the boys needed a win against Bronxville to clinch the title on May 2. A loss to Bronxville would require the Panthers to sweep their remaining matches. Keeping things simple, Edgemont’s squad went to Bronxville’s courts and won in hostile territory. With a 5-2 win against Bronxville, the Panthers won the league title with a record of 8-0.
Edgemont secured its 28th league title in school history. Edgemont has won 36 straight league matches over the past five years.
“As is our hallmark throughout this run, we win because we dominate in doubles — plain and simple,” Romney said. “Bronxville showcases two of the top singles players not just in Section 1, but in all of New York State high school tennis in [Liam] Krall and [Charlie] Nordahl.”
After winning another league title, there was great jubilation as the Panthers celebrated yet another great season.
“It felt amazing because it was our fifth league title in a row,” senior Ben Gilman said. “And the fact that we were able to get a big win at rival Bronxville made it even more special.”
Edgemont’s senior captains — Gilman, Jake Beyer, Scott Rappaport, Max Cutler, Zach Erber, Jacob Meyer and Tejas Karwa — are all doubles specialists and have contributed to the team’s formidable league winning streak.
After winning the league title, Edgemont’s next goal was to get as deep into the team sectional tournament as they could. Edgemont got ranked as the No. 4 seed in the tournament, with only powerhouse teams No. 1 Horace Greeley, No. 2 Scarsdale and No. 3 Harrison ahead of them, a true testament to the Edgemont program.
Edgemont took on White Plains in the first round and won 6-1 with only the four doubles matches being played to their entirety. With the match starting from fourth doubles, once a team reached the four points necessary to win the match, 8-game pro sets were used to finish the match. The lone Edgemont loss was at first singles.
In the quarterinfals, the Panthers had a rematch with Byram Hills. In the second match of the season, Byram Hills topped Edgemont 4-3.
Things initially looked bleak for the Panthers. At fourth doubles, Tommy Lee and Jacob Meyer fell to a very strong fourth doubles squad making the match score 1-0 in favor of Byram Hills. However, Edgemont would not let this lost match get their hopes down, as Scott Rappaport and Matt Alexander stormed off the court with a strong 6-1, 6-4 victory tying the score at 1-1.
Freshman phenom Will Mellis then gave Edgemont the lead with a 6-2, 6-3 victory at second singles. The score was 2-1 and Edgemont was banking on wins from both their first and second doubles teams, while knowing they still had first and third singles as a backup.
In a close and emotional match, Gilman and Jake Beyer were able to defeat the animated duo of Shea Gordon and Sam Aberman, winning 6-4, 7-5. With a large crowd of faithful Panthers backing them, Beyer and Gilman extended the lead to 3-1.
As Beyer and Gilman finished, Zach Erber and Max Cutler went into a super tiebreak which, if won, would guarantee the win. The tiebreak was nip and tuck all the way. In the end Erber and Cutler were triumphant, winning the tiebreak 10-8 and securing Edgemont’s first-ever semifinals appearance.
“The ending of the match, having all the fans behind us, was one of the most amazing feelings,” Cutler said. “Especially against a strong Byram team that has had our number recently, being able to celebrate with the team felt great.”
The final score yielded a 5-2 Edgemont victory.
“Today’s win was extra sweet because it came over Byram Hills,” Romney said. “In the end we are thrilled to get to the Final Four and look forward to playing our first-ever match in school history against Horace Greeley in the semifinals.”
After being rained out last Monday, the Panthers will be heading to Harrison this coming Monday looking to advance to the finals.
Prior to that, the team kicked off the Conference III Tournament Wednesday. Three out of the top four seeded doubles teams were from Edgemont. Beyer and Gilman are ranked first, Cutler and Erber third, Rappaport and Alexander fourth. Each seeded team earned a bye for the first round.
In singles, Edgemont had two players make the cut for the conference tournament, sophomore Ho and freshman Will Mellis.