BY MATTHEW ROCCO Correspondent Holmdel hopes to capture NJSIAA group title Following the Hornets’ victory in the Monmouth County Tournament, Holmdel High School boys tennis coach Chuck Chelednik foresaw the rematch against Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, that took place in last week’s Shore Conference Tournament final. Holmdel once again topped the Colts and secured the program’s fourth consecutive Shore Conference title. The Hornets won all five contests in the SCT final on May 9, less than two weeks after defeating CBA to win the county championship for the fourth year in a row. It was another achievement for the Hornets, especially for a Holmdel senior class that has been with the team since the start of this incredible run.“I told my guys, ‘You’re going to get their best,’ since CBA wanted revenge after the county tournament,” Chelednik said of the rematch. “Overall, my guys stepped up to the challenge.”Holmdel seniors Daway Chou- Ren and Daniel Tu have held starting roles since the first SCT title.Chou-Ren, who has played at third singles for four years, won his match against Anthony Dein ofCBA, 6-4, 6-3. Tu won at second doubles alongside sophomore Sam Joynson, defeating CBA’s Henry Manley and Mark Robinson, 7-5, 6-3. Mike Li and Ganesh Natarajan, the other two senior starters for Holmdel, form the first doubles team. They took care of CBA’s Mike Montanelli and Mike O’Malley in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3.At first singles, junior Derek Liu won his match at first singles over Nick Sharwarko of CBA, 6-2, 6-2. Freshman Mike Chen, who starts at second singles, remained undefeated with a 6-1, 6-2 win over CBA’s Peter Cangialosi. Another SCT title gives Holmdel’s seniors even greater motivation to compete for a group title in the NJSIAA state tournament. Holmdel won its section last season but lost in the first round of group play. This year, the Hornets want to take it one step further and go to the group finals.“We want to just have a chance to play the big schools in the Tournament of Champions,” said Chelednik, who added that his expectations haven’t changed since the beginning of this season. “I think we can play with them. It’s just a matter of having focus and playing good tennis.”Holmdel (11-1) earned a top seed and bye week in the state tournament. The Hornets went on to defeat Arthur L. Johnson High School, 5-0, in a Central Jersey Group II quarterfinal. They were scheduled to play Rumson-Fair Haven in the semifinals on May 16 after the Bulldogs won their quarterfinal against Red Bank Regional, 3-2. The Central Jersey Group II final is set for May 18.CBA (14-1) is the top seed in South Jersey Non-Public A, and the Colts defeated Holy Spirit, 5-0, in a quarterfinal matchup. CBA was slated to play the May 16 semifinals.
By Iacovos ConstantinouAEL continued their march towards their second league title in three years with a 2-0 win over Omonia while their nearest rivals APOEL squeezed past a resilient Anorthosis. In the relegation battle, Aris moved out of the danger zone for the first time in months with Doxa Katokopias moving in the other direction.“When you create six to seven goal-scoring opportunities against one of the meanest defences in the league and fail to score you will be punished,” said dejected Omonia coach Costas Kaiafas after the game.AEL took the lead through a Monteiro sixth minute goal but the visitors stormed back and missed some glorious chances to equalise with Skembri and Efraim the main culprits. AEL weathered the storm and gradually eased their way into the game. On the stroke of half-time Idabdhelay made the game safe for AEL when he took advantage of a blunder by Omonia defender Serfa.Anorthosis always seem to lift their game against APOEL and Sunday was no exception. Despite collecting just one point in ten games they were by far the better side and could have wrapped up the game in the first half had it not been for some outstanding saves from APOEL’s keeper Pardo.Both sides missed chances after the break and it was APOEL who were fortunate enough to break the deadlock through Vinicius following some poor defending by the home team. However Vinicius’ celebrations were deemed excessive by referee Panayi and he was yellow-carded, meaning he will miss the crunch game against AEL on Tuesday week.Apollon avenged their cup exit at the hands of Ermis Aradippou last Wednesday and thumped four past them. Lopez scored a hat-trick with Gaston Sangoy getting the fourth. With this win Apollon kept their hopes of a Champions League finish alive even though they trail second-placed APOEL by five points.Aris Limassol took a huge leap towards safety when they managed with ten men to come from behind and defeat Doxa Katokopias 3-1. Doxa took the lead through Leandro but goals from Yousef, Pintceli and Dina gave the three points to the Limassol outfit.Ethnikos Achnas and Nea Salamina shared the points in a 1-1 draw, with the Ethnikos president Kikis Philippou laying the blame on some dubious refereeing decisions. Ethnikos are now level on points with Doxa with Aris just a point ahead.AEK Larnaca defeated AEK Kouklion by a solitary Mitides goal and it appears that the team from Kouklia will be heading back to the second division next year barring a miraculous comeback as they are eight points from the safety zone.
President of the Papua New Guinea Union and General Member of the Oceania Rugby Executive Board, Richard Sapias had succeeded Harry Schuster from the Samoa Rugby Union who served with distinction the Boards of Oceania Rugby, Samoa and World Rugby.The election came about during the Oceania Rugby annual Executive Board Meeting held in Auckland last week.Commenting on his election Sapias stated: “I’m very grateful and humbled being given this opportunity to represent and promote the interests of our stakeholder Unions in the Oceania Region.”“I am also looking forward to working together with all Oceania member unions and World Rugby as we continue to strengthen the code in our region,” Sapias added.Moreover, Papua New Guinea has for the first time made a mark in World Rugby society and will be a spotlight in Oceania to the world.The other Executive Board appointments are Secretary, Brent Anderson (New Zealand Rugby Union), Treasurer, Todd Day (Australian Rugby Union), General Members, Charles Tauziet (Tahiti Rugby Union) and new to the Board, Teremoana Moekaa (Cook Islands Rugby).