SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

July 23, 2013

Lobsters fall to West-leading Springfield, remain in three-way playoff tie

MANCHESTER — The fight was there for the Lobsters last night with Western Conference leading Springfield visiting.

Unfortunately, the finish wasn’t.

Twice Boston battled back after going down early in sets to force the tiebreak but both times the Lasers answered the challenge as the Lobsters fell 23-15 in overtime in the team’s last home match of the season.

“It’s disappointing,” said Boston head coach Bud Schultz. “I thought we came out a little tired and a little cranky and I thought our play reflected that and the score reflected that.”

Boston is now 4-8 but with New York and Philadelphia also losing last night the three squads remained tied for the second and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Schultz knows effort is never an issue with this team and last night was more due to the fact that his players are human and prone to an off night.

“It’s not a matter of not being willing,” Schultz said of his players’ effort. “I think sometimes people fail to see that pro athletes are human beings. They have their good days and their bad days — their high energy days and their low energy days. You have to put it all together and come out and play.”

Amir Weintraub came back twice to force a tiebreak against Rik De Voest but the Lobsters’ men’ singles player lost in 5-4 (5-3 in the tiebreak).

De Voest was patient and for the most part and kept Weintraub away from his dangerous backhand and while the Israel native did come back from an early three-game hole it wasn’t enough.

“I started pretty bad but I got better. They’re a really good team,” said Weintraub, who has been playing some phenomenal tennis the past four matches. “Everything’s been working well. We have two matches left and I hope to my best and personally have a good end to the season.”

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