Brattleboro’s Elias Frazer Olsen defeated Essex’s Lewis Pilcher, 6-3, 6-4, to clinch the Bears’ 4-3 win over Essex in the Division I boys’ tennis quarterfinals on June 7 at the BUHS courts.
Randolph T. Holhut/The Commons
Brattleboro’s Elias Frazer Olsen defeated Essex’s Lewis Pilcher, 6-3, 6-4, to clinch the Bears’ 4-3 win over Essex in the Division I boys’ tennis quarterfinals on June 7 at the BUHS courts.

Bears boys’ tennis team falls in semifinals to CVU

-The buzz among the Brattleboro boys' tennis team before their opening Division I playoff match against the Essex Hornets on June 7 at the BUHS courts was the Boston Celtics' dominating win over the Dallas Mavericks in Game 1 of the NBA Finals.

It was fitting, because there are a lot of similarities between the Celtics and the Brattleboro boys' tennis team. Both were the top teams in the regular season as they were rarely tested by opponents. And both teams entered the postseason with questions about whether they had the toughness to be successful in the playoffs after cruising through the regular season.

But, most importantly for the Bears, they share this similarity with the Celtics - the Bears are a deep and experienced team determined to win a championship after falling short last year.

The undefeated Bears' experience and determination was definitely needed against the ninth-seeded Hornets, as they gritted out a 4-3 quarterfinal win to advance to the semifinals.

Brattleboro led the match, 3-1, as Nate Kim beat Derin Suren, 6-0, 6-0 at No. 1 singles; Mark Richards defeated Rory Miller, 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 singles; and the No. 1 doubles team of Ben Berg and Leo Bodett won their match, 6-3, 6-2 over Essex's Devon Shedd and Omar Khan.

The Bears were missing their regular No. 2 singles player, Thomas Hyde, due to illness. Malo Renault moved into the spot and lost a grueling 4-6, 4-6 match to Essex's Visnnu Konnanur.

But things tightened up quickly. First, the No. 2 doubles team of Dorian Paquette and Jackson Pals lost 10-6 in a super tiebreaker to Essex's Donovan Ho and Henry Farrell after losing the first set, 6-4, and winning the second, 7-5.

Then, in another marathon game at No. 4 singles, Eben Wagner lost to Essex's Lucas St. Hilaire. After winning the first set, 7-5, St. Hilaire rallied to win the second set, 7-5, and then took the super tiebreaker, 10-6, to tie up the match at 3-3.

It all came down to the No. 5 singles match between Brattleboro's Elias Frazer Olsen, who was added to the Bears' lineup in Hyde's place, and Essex's Lewis Pilcher. With gusty winds, fading light, and a crowd of onlookers surrounding the court hanging on every point, Frazer Olsen held up with the Bears' season on the line. He won the first set, 6-3, and took the second set, 6-4.

"There was definitely a lot of pressure, but I just tried to take it one point at a time," said an exhausted Frazer Olsen after the match.

For Bears coach Ben Brewer, he was proud of how the team showed "grit and determination," and how they "stayed focused to the final point." He added that, because of how the Bears breezed through the regular season, they needed a test.

"This was what we needed," he said. "Essex battled us."

At press time, the Bears lost to the Champlain Valley Redhawks, 5-2, in the semifinals on June 10. CVU knocked them out in the playoffs last year. We'll have the full details in next week's roundup.


• Brattleboro opened its playoff run on the road with an upset of the sixth-seeded St. Johnsbury Hilltoppers, 2-1, in 10 innings in a Division I first-round playoff game on June 4.

The 11th-seeded Bears got a great pitching performance from Jayke Glidden. He went eight innings, allowing just one run on three hits with eight strikeouts, but it was reliever Evan Wright, who held the host Hilltoppers scoreless in the final two innings with two strikeouts, who got the win.

In the 10th, Brattleboro had runners on first and second with no outs. A bunt attempt failed, but a fielder's choice put a baserunner at third, who ultimately scored on a wild pitch to win the game for the Bears.

The reward for knocking off the Hilltoppers was another long road trip on June 7, this time to Hinesburg to face the third-seeded Champlain Valley Redhawks in the quarterfinals. There were no surprises in this game as the Redhawks rolled to a 10-0 victory. Brattleboro finished the season with a 9-9 record.

• Leland & Gray also pulled off an upset in their opening playoff game as the sixth-seeded Rebels beat the No. 3 Proctor Phantoms, 7-4, in a Division IV quarterfinal on June 7.

The game was tied 1-1 after four innings, and after the game was stopped for a hour due to a weather delay, the Rebels took control of the game with five runs in the top of the fifth.

Colby Hescock, the starting pitcher for the Rebels, helped himself with a home run in the fourth inning. He came back to pitch after the weather delay and went the distance to get the win. He held the Phantoms to five hits and struck out seven batters.

Leland & Gray got seven hits off of Proctor's pitchers. Hescock hit a single to go with his homer and drove in three runs, while Ryan Peloso had a single and a double and drove in a run, and Ryan Dunn got another run home with a double.

The Rebels then upset the second-seeded Rivendell Raptors, 9-8, in the semifinals on June 10. We'll have more on this game, and the Rebels' trip to the state finals, next week.

• Second-seeded Bellows Falls opened their playoff run with an 8-2 win over No. 7 Richford in a Division III quarterfinal game at Hadley Field on June 7. The Terriers then lost in the semifinals to No. 6 BFA-Fairfax, 4-2, at Hadley Field on June 10. The full details will be in next week's roundup.

• No. 8 Twin Valley lost to No. 9 Stratton Mountain School, 16-6, in a Division IV first-round playoff game on June 4. The Wildcats ended the season at 2-15.

Boys' lacrosse

• No. 9 Brattleboro lost to the eighth-seeded Mount Anthony Patriots, 16-12, in a Division II boys' first-round game in Bennington on June 4. The Bears trailed 3-1 after the first quarter and 7-5 at halftime. A quick three-goal burst to start the third quarter gave the Patriots some breathing room.

James Fagley had four goals and two assists in the game to lead the Bears, while Nate Domina had three goals and two assists. Sam Madow added two goals, Alex Dick had a goal and an assist, and Will Miskovich had a goal.

Girls' tennis

• Brattleboro lost to Essex, 6-1, in the opening round of the Division I playoffs on June 4. The Bears' only win of the day came at No. 2 doubles where Amelia Newton and Emma Lafayette-Havens defeated Willa Wilson and Suhaila Asdo in a super tiebreak 6-2, 3-6, 10-6.


• Bellows Falls opened the Division III playoffs with a 21-1 shellacking of No. 10 Burlington/Winooski in a quarterfinal game on June 8 in Westminster.

Winning pitcher Izzy Stoodley overpowered Burlington/Winooski as she threw a two-hitter, striking out 15 batters and walking just two. Stoodley also went 2-for-4 at the plate, driving in a run. She got plenty of run support as Jaelyn Fletcher (2-for-5, with a home run and three RBIs), Natalie Noyes (3-for-5, with a double and three RBIs), Riley Haskell (3-for-5), and Emma Thompson (2-for-4, one RBI) led the BF attack.

The Terriers then advanced to the Division III semifinals with a 9-5 win over No. 3 Thetford on June 11. We'll have the details on this game and the state championship game in next week's roundup.

Ultimate disc

• No. 7 Brattleboro lost to No. 10 Long Trail School, 15-7, in a first-round playoff on June 4 in Brattleboro. The Bears ended their season with a 4-5 record.

Vermont Academy, LaLiga host soccer camp

• Born out of a partnership with LaLiga, the top professional football division of the Spanish football league system, Vermont Academy is presenting an unparalleled soccer experience for young athletes this summer: The LaLiga Camps USA at Vermont Academy.

From July 15 to 21, soccer players aged 11-18 at any level will have the opportunity to experience an immersive boarding and day soccer camp on Vermont Academy's campus in Saxtons River.

According to a news release, the program will introduce players to LaLiga's unique methodology of training by expert LaLiga coaches. Campers will learn "LaLiga's technical and tactical methods, explore values and philosophies represented by LaLiga coaches, build lifetime friendships with people from all over the world, take part in soccer training and recreational activities, and have an unforgettable experience."

This is rare opportunity for Vermont soccer players to learn from the coaching staffs of one of the world's top professional soccer leagues, a league that contains global powerhouses Real Madrid and Barcelona. Spaces for boarding and day campers are still available. For more information and to register, visit

Rec. Dept. offers swim lessons

• The Brattleboro Recreation & Parks Department says the Living Memorial Park Pool will be offering swim lessons for children who are three-years-old and up by June 15.

Swim lessons are primarily for Brattleboro residents. Non-Brattleboro residents will be accepted if space is available. The Red Cross has developed a system for lessons, which is considerably different from the lesson criteria in past years. Therefore, each child must be tested before being placed in a class and should be prepared to go into the pool at registration.

If your child has a Red Cross card from last summer, bring it to registration, which occurs rain or shine at the Living Memorial Park Pool. Brattleboro residents may register on Saturday, June 15, from 10 a.m. to noon, or on June 20, from 10 a.m. to noon. Non-residents may register on June 21, from 10 a.m. to noon.

There will be three sessions offered, each session is two weeks long. Session 1 is June 24 to July 5 (no class on July 4); session 2 is July 8 to 19 and session 3 is July 22 to Aug. 2, Fees are $45 for Brattleboro residents and $60.00 for non-residents. For more information, call the Rec. Dept. at 802-254-5808.

Senior bowling roundup

• Week 6 of the spring/summer season of the Brattleboro Senior Bowling League at Brattleboro Bowl on June 6 saw a new team join the league, Incredibowls. League secretary Nancy Dalzell said that "we're a fun league and not governed by any special sanction rules," so while the total games won't add up to the other teams, Incredibowls will join the fun and camaraderie of the league's Thursday morning get-togethers.

Half Normal (24-6) had a 5-0 week to stay in first place, followed by Slo Movers (20.5-9.5), Fab 4 (19-11), Misguided (16.5-13.5), Split Happens (15-15), Three Musketeers (14-16), Spare Change (13-17), Stayin' Alive (12-18), Hi Rollers (9-21), and Incredibowls (1-4).

Kathy Wehner had the women's high handicap game (245), while Carol Gloski had the high handicap series (658). Robert Rigby had the men's high handicap game (253) and series (697), and Fab 4 had the high team handicap game (828) and series (2,492).

Rigby had the men's high scratch series (670) with games of 244, 238, and 188. Milt Sherman had a 544 series with a 205 game, Chuck Adams had a 537 series with games of 201 and 186, John Walker had a 527 series with a 186 game, and Skip Shine had a 503 series with a 193 game. Other notable games included Marc Shelley and Rick Westcott (192), Wayne Randall (186), and Charlie Marchant (185).

Gloski had the women's high scratch series (521) and game (170). Dalzell had games of 167 and 165, while Sandy Ladd also had a 167 game.

Randolph T. Holhut, deputy editor of this newspaper, has written this column since 2010 and has covered sports in Windham County since the 1980s. Readers can send him sports information at [email protected].

This Sports column by Randolph T. Holhut was written for The Commons.

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