Hopedale won every match in a 5-0 sweep of Bromfield to claim a third straight sectional crown.
SHREWSBURY — Once the Hopedale boys tennis team rolls into Shrewsbury – either on its shuttle bus or school bus – the Blue Raiders play one particular song to get hyped for their match.
It’s called “Lonely" by late rapper Speaker Knockerz.
“That song has been a tradition for however long I’ve been on this team,” Hopedale senior captain Matt Costanza said. “Every time we pull into Shrewsbury we have this house that when we see it we click this song on and listen to it while we pull up the street. It’s just great to get all the younger kids going.
“It’s just special.”
That final sentiment was prevalent throughout Hopedale’s Division 3 Central final match with Bromfield on Wednesday.
After the Blue Raiders’ second-doubles team of seniors Gabe Terando and Griffin Nosek won their match (6-2, 6-0), and junior Jack Figgins won his first singles match (6-2, 6-1), all eyes of those in attendance at Saint John’s High School were directed toward the No. 2 singles match.
Where Costanza was playing.
Following a 6-4 win in the first set, the Hopedale senior and Saint Michael’s College tennis commit was up 5-0 in the second set and serving with a chance to clinch a sectional crown.
With Costanza one point away from winning his match, he served the ball and rallied with Bromfield’s Charlie Bardenheur. After a slice backhand from the Hopedale No. 2 singles player, Bardenheur hit a backhand shot into the net.
Costanza then let out a big roar and pumped his right hand before taking off his hat and shaking his opponent’s hand.
VIDEO: Hopedale senior Matt Costanza wins his No. 2 singles match to clinch sectional title for Blue Raiders
Hopedale senior captain Matt Costanza (@costanza_matt) wins 6-4, 6-0 at No. 2 singles to secure a 3rd straight Div. 3 sectional title for@hdaletennisteam@HopedaleSports@MetroWestSportspic.twitter.com/9hzNSHmcNe— Tommy Cassell (@tommycassell44)June 12, 2019
Hopedale went on to win its final two matches in a 5-0 sweep of Bromfield to claim a third straight Div. 3 Central sectional title.
“We’ve been here before so we kind of knew what we’re coming into,” Costanza said afterward. “To be here as a senior, it was kind of a special thing knowing it could be my last match ever.”
There’s that seven-letter S-word again. Special.
Better than a six-letter L-word – lonely – Hopedale (16-3) has made a tradition of blaring out on the bus before its sectional title games.
But better by just a bit.
“Lonely, it’s just a ritual,” the other Hopedale senior captain Terando said. “He’s just kind of legend, Speaker Knockerz. So we just gotta play it.”
The three minute and eight-second rap song from the artist born Derek McAllister (who died tragically at the age of 19 in 2014) goes a little something like this:
“I'm winning I'm winning you lose,
That's your fault, shouldn't have snoozed, never snoozed.”
The lyrics fit the Hopedale boys tennis team to a T.
“They’re a bunch of characters,” said second-year Hopedale coach Ryan Mulry. “They’ve always had some kind of song that they love to play; I don’t try to listen to their music. But I know about the Bruins goal song.
“The goal song has kind of been a victory song for us since they’ve been in the playoffs. I love it, they love it.”
Following a trophy celebration, the two Hopedale senior captains and the rest of their teammates posed for pictures and videos. Costanza then blasted the aforementioned Bruins goal song from his cell phone before the 14 Blue Raiders rushed back home on their school bus to watch the start of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals.
VIDEO: Hopedale boys tennis senior captains Matt Costanza and Gabe Terando celebrate with teammates after their win
FINAL: Hopedale 5, Bromfield 0 as@hdaletennisteam secures its 3rd straight Div. 3 Central title@HopedaleSports@MetroWestSportspic.twitter.com/uGZ9fE7PNG— Tommy Cassell (@tommycassell44)June 12, 2019
“The Bruins are on in 50 minutes,” Costanza said with a shout.
It took nearly that amount of time for seniors Griffin Nosek and Terando to finish their second doubles match. The Hopedale duo won by scores of 6-2, 6-0.
“Trying to take care of business,” Terando said.
This season happens to mark Nosek’s first year of playing high school tennis.
“First ever,” he said. “It worked out.”
Figgins, Hopedale’s No. 1 singles player, didn’t take long to finish his match, either.
The junior won 6-2, 6-1 a little after Hopedale’s No. 2 doubles pairing finished up – and about two hours after his older sister, Aimee, finished her final high school tennis match.
Aimee and the Hopedale girls tennis team lost to AMSA in a Div. 3 Central final – at the same St. John’s tennis courts – just before the Hopedale boys match concluded.
VIDEO: Siblings Jack and Aimee Figgins talk after Hopedale boys and girls tennis matches
Hopedale junior & first singles player Jack Figgins wins 6-2, 6-1 to put@hdaletennisteam up 2-0 in D3 Central final@HopedaleSports@MetroWestSports. Here’s a video of Jack & his older sister, Aimee, who just finished playing in her own sectional title game.pic.twitter.com/bWWVymjt1B— Tommy Cassell (@tommycassell44)June 12, 2019
“I learned to play tennis with him,” Aimee said of her brother. “So it was a cool experience to end it all with him on the same court and on the same day in the (Central Mass.) finals.”
“It was definitely great (to do this with her),” Jack said. “She had a great career.”
After Costanza won his match, he strolled over to where friends and family were watching the final two matches. He gave his dad, Mike, a hug and followed suit with his mother (Tara), brother (Mikey) and sister (Callie) before fist-pumping Hopedale parent Thom Nosek.
VIDEO: Hopedale's Matt Costanza hugs family members after winning his tennis match
One more video from yesterday. Hopedale tennis (@hdaletennisteam) senior captain and@saintmichaels commit Matt Costanza (@costanza_matt) hugs his dad (Mike), Mom (@taramch98), brother (Mikey) & sister (Callie) following his sectional-title clinching match@MetroWestSportspic.twitter.com/6mRVQBmnDl— Tommy Cassell (@tommycassell44)June 13, 2019
Sophomore Tyler “Slack” Flynn and senior Jackson Tahmoush then won their first doubles match by a score of 6-7 (4-7), 6-0, 6-2. Hopedale senior Ben Tammaro wrapped up the team match with a 6-3, 6-3 win at No. 3 singles.
The Blue Raiders have been Div. 3 state runner-ups the past two seasons.
For Flynn, it was nice to win a sectional title as a player after being a spectator and watching his older brother, Brandon, win a sectional crown two years ago.
“I saw his happiness when he won and it feels good that I’m a part of the team now and I’m able to get a championship for the boys,” Flynn said.
VIDEO: Hopedale's Jackson Tahmoush and Tyler Flynn won their doubles match on Wednesday
Senior Jackson Tahmoush and sophomore Tyler “Slack” Flynn win 2-7, 6-2, 6-3 at No. 1 doubles to put Hopedale boys tennis (@hdaletennisteam) to put the Blue Raiders up 4-0@HopedaleSports@MetroWestSportspic.twitter.com/vVt3x9JDHo— Tommy Cassell (@tommycassell44)June 12, 2019
The Hopedale boys are now headed to Springfield, where they will face the Div. 3 West sectional champions from Belchertown on Monday at 3:30 p.m.
If the Blue Raiders win, Costanza and the rest of the seniors will have one last chance to play their favorite song when they see that familiar house in Shrewsbury. That’s because the Div. 3 state title game is back at Saint John’s High School next Thursday.
“We’re just hoping to be on the right side of the state title game this year,” Costanza said.
PHOTO: The Hopedale boys tennis team holds its sectional championship banner and trophy
The Division 3 Central sectional champion Hopedale boys tennis team. The Blue Raiders won a sectional title for a third straight season@MetroWestSports@hdaletennisteam@HopedaleSports@hopedalejshspic.twitter.com/qa0cutsxJg— Tommy Cassell (@tommycassell44)June 13, 2019
Tommy Cassell is a senior multimedia journalist for the Daily News. He can be reached at 508-626-4405 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @tommycassell44.