The Student News Site of Masconomet Regional High School

The Masco Messenger

The Masco Messenger

The Masco Messenger


Masco Boys Tennis competed well against Swampscott last week, taking many matches deep into the sets and putting up a good fight against their division 3 opponents.

  Last year in Division 3, Swampscott was competitive, making it to the round of 16, where they would be eliminated by the eventual state champion Wayland Warriors. 

  As for Masco, they too would make it to the state tournament, and were also defeated by the eventual Division 2 champion Duxbury Dragons in the round of 32. 

  For Masco, the competitive games were headlined by sophomore Kai Hird. Hird was a league all-star last year as a freshman and continued his dominance on the court yesterday against Swampscott senior captain Nick Custer. 

  “Hird has been a huge part of any success we’ve had since he joined our team as a freshman,” said Head Coach Matt Nardone. “Last year he mainly played doubles and quickly proved himself to be one of our best doubles players. This year Hird has been playing singles for us and is currently the leader on our team in wins. He has really stepped his game up this year while playing stronger competition.”

  In the first set, Hird found himself down 3-1 in the best of 6 set. But, as the set advanced, Hird kept his composure and was able to use his impressive range on the court to get to almost every ball that Custer shot at him. This range allowed Hird to go on to win the final 5 games in the set and win 6-3. 

  “It is hard to keep my composure when I’m down in a match,” he said. “Keeping calm and having confidence in my shot helps me pull through tough game situations.”

  Like the first set, the second set would also be challenging for Hird, as he would fall behind 3-2. But Hird recovered, using his overpowering shot along with great touch on his shot, Hird was able to be on the attack for the entire game, tiring out his opponent.

  “My shot has been developed over the years through coaching and programs I’ve done,” said Hird. “Something unique that sets me apart from my competitors is my strong backhand which many high school players lack at this level.”  

 Hird would go on to win his next 2 games and 4 of the final 5 games to secure a 6-4 victory in the second set.     

  The Masco doubles match-ups featured sophomore Alex O’Brien and senior Liam Stepanick facing off against Swampscott seniors Maxim Zeizig and James Dicker. 

  In the middle of the first set, Masco was down 5-2 when the coach called them over for a meeting.

  “After meeting with coach Nardone, we realized that it was important to forget about the games behind us and focus on one point at a time,” said Stepanick. “We tried to slow things down and take our time on each point.”

  Following the talk, the pair came out with much more confidence, coming back to win the set 7-5, winning 5 games in a row to get the job done. During this run, there was also an increase in communication between Stepanick and O’Brien. 

  “Having good communication with your partner is essential, especially giving good directions and having a good attitude,” said Stepanick. “One person allowing their mindset to weaken could easily affect the whole team.” 

  In the second set however, Masco would struggle, falling behind 4-1 and eventually losing the set 6-1. But as the sunlight dimmed over Masco, a super tie-breaker was needed to determine the match. 

  Masco would play this abbreviated set competitively, tying the game at 3, thanks in part to many great serves by O’Brien which tailed away from the Swampscott players as they were unable to get great power on the difficult to handle shots. 

  But, after a late game surge by Swampscott saw them winning 3 of the last 4 points, winning the super tie-breaker 10-6.

  “Our record is 2-6 at the moment, but we have played a difficult schedule so far,” said Nardone. “We have had a number of 3-2 losses, but I feel like the team is definitely improving from where we were earlier in the season. We have two seniors and the rest of our team is mainly made up of sophomores so I think we will continue to improve as this season continues. Our goal is the same every year, we want to qualify for the State Tournament.”

Donate to The Masco Messenger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Masconomet Regional High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Donate to The Masco Messenger