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No dynasty, but another Sectional tennis title for Guilderland

Dutchmen edge Niskayuna for third team championship in four years

Guilderland’s Alex Fedorov was a major factor in the Dutchmen winning their third Section II Class AA boys tennis title in four years. Fedorov defeated every Suburban Council singles player he faced, including a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Niskayuna’s Russell Santos in the team final Thursday, May 15.

Guilderland’s Alex Fedorov was a major factor in the Dutchmen winning their third Section II Class AA boys tennis title in four years. Fedorov defeated every Suburban Council singles player he faced, including a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Niskayuna’s Russell Santos in the team final Thursday, May 15. Photo by Rob Jonas.

Coach Curtis Snyder isn’t ready to call his Guilderland boys tennis team a dynasty yet, but three Section II Class AA team titles in the last four years certainly makes a strong case for it.

“I don’t think that’s something I should call them,” said Snyder. “We’ve just been fortunate to win this three out of the last four years.”

The one thing that changed for Guilderland this year is the opponent it met in the finals. Instead of Bethlehem, which played the Dutchmen each of the past three years, the Dutchmen faced Niskayuna Thursday, May 15. Niskayuna gave Guilderland all it could handle before the Dutchmen pulled out a 5-3 victory.

“Niskayuna was really strong this year,” said Snyder.

Like the regular season meeting won by Guilderland 5-4, Niskayuna battled the whole way before Bill Dong’s 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Justin Hsu at No. 3 singles clinched the match and the Sectional title.

“It’s funny because we won and lost different matches (between the regular season and the Sectional final),” said Snyder. “So, you never knew how it would turn out.”

One result Snyder could count on was Alex Fedorov winning at No. 1 singles. Fedorov remained perfect against Suburban Council competition by defeating Russell Santos 6-2, 6-2.

Snyder said he feels Fedorov is primed for a deep run in the state qualifiers as a singles player. Last year, Fedorov went to states as part of a doubles team with Eric Kopff, but now Fedorov is gunning for the singles title.

“He definitely has a chance,” said Snyder. “He has improved just from last year to this year quite a lot.”

The doubles team Fedorov and Kopff defeated in last year’s Sectional final – Dong and Michael Zhu – is back for another attempt at winning the title and qualifying for the state tournament.

“I think they have a great chance,” said Snyder. “They’ve played doubles together before, and unlike other doubles teams that are singles players thrown together for Sectionals, they’ve had that experience of playing together.”

The state qualifier began Monday, May 19, at Schenectady’s Central Park with the first three rounds. The quarterfinals and semifinals were Tuesday, May 20. The finals are scheduled for Wednesday, May 21. The top three singles players and top three doubles teams advance to states.

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