What has already been a fantastic season for the Bermudian Springs’ boys’ tennis team could become even better on Saturday.
Eagles’ senior Brett Laughman won a pair of matches on Friday, both in straight sets, to advance to Saturday’s YAIAA Singls Tournament Class 2A finals.
“Brett deserves this,” Bermudian coach Greg Kline said following Friday’s action at South Western. “He’s played great all season and we’re looking forward to tomorrow.”
Laughman reached the quarters on Thursday by ousting teammate Gage Bjonnes, something he called the toughest part of his tournament.
In the quarters, he then breezed past Jayden Vu of West York 6-1, 6-1. But that’s when the day began to get interesting.
On the opposite side of Laughman’s bracket were Hanover’s Antonio Corona and Susquehannock’s Collin Brusse. In that quarterfinal, Brusse took the first set 7-5 before dropping the second to Corona, 4-6. The first two sets of that match took two hours and 10 minutes, and eventually it was Brusse pulling out a grinding three-set win, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1.
“I would just say I was focused on keeping a steady head. Keeping a cool head,” Laughman said of the prolonged wait. “Watching everyone else play when you’re not going to is kind of tough. It puts you in a bad spot sometimes. But my teammates helped me a lot by keeping me up, keeping me warmed up and ready to play. I would say that’s how I got through it all.”
When the eventual semifinal with Brusse kicked off, Laughman had been off the court for upwards of two hours.
While the mental effects of the wait were tough, the physical tolls of the three-set quarterfinal showed up for Brusse in the semifinals. Laughman was able to pull out to a 5-0 lead in the first set and eventually took it, 6-1. The second set was much of the same as Laughman used a heavy first serve to keep Brusse on his heels and grab another 6-1 victory to win the match and advance to today’s final at New Oxford.
“I thought I moved well today, but I need to improve mentally,” Laughman said of his day. “I’m happy with how I played but I want to keep improving and think I can continue to improve.”
Laughman, who entered the tournament as the second seed, will take on top-seeded Andy Snyder of Susquehannock. Snyder, who defeated Laughman earlier in the year, has yet to drop a set in the tournament and downed Matt Fuentes of West York 6-2, 6-3 in the semis.
“For sure — that one burns hard,” Laughman said of the earlier loss to Snyder. “I just really want to come out tomorrow swinging.”
Kline added that he felt Laughman has made some improvements and tactical changes that could help him deal with Snyder, though the Eagles’ coach wouldn’t reveal what those changes were.
“There’s some things we’ll clean up and we’ll talk about between now and then. But we’ll keep that between us,” he said.
Elsewhere in area action, Bermudian’s Nate Edmondson dropped his quarterfinal to Fuentes, 6-3, 6-3, while Hanover’s Charlie Zitto lost to Snyder in the quarters, 6-3, 6-0.
Up in Class 3A, Alex Guy of South Western dropped a quarterfinal to Cooper Wheeler of Red Lion, 6-3, 6-2.
YAIAA Singles Tournament
1. Lando (YS) d. 8. Etter (Dal) 6-2, 6-0; 4. Arbittier (Dal) d. 6. Chronister (Dal), 6-0, 6-2; 3. Wheeler (RL) d. 5. Alex Guy (SW) 6-3, 6-2; 2. Wu (Dal) d. 7. Nadeau (RL) 6-0, 4-6, 6-4
Arbittier (Dal) d. Lando (YS) 6-3, 7-5; Wheeler (RL) d. Wu (Dal) 6-2, 6-4
1. Snyder (Susq) d. Charlie Zitto (Han) 6-3, 6-0; 3. Fuentes (WY) d. 7. Nate Edmondson (BS) 6-3, 6-3; 6. Brusse (Susq) d. Antonio Corona (Han) 7-5, 4-6, 6-1; 2. Brett Laughman (BS) d. Vu (WY) 6-1, 6-1
Snyder (Sus) d. Fuentes (WY) 6-2, 6-3; Laughman (BS) d. Brusse (Sus) 6-1, 6-1