DARTMOUTH — With Tuesday’s Div. 2 South semifinal between No. 2 Dartmouth and No. 3 Scituate knotted at 2-2, all eyes turned to Court 2.

That’s where Dartmouth’s Connor Alves and Scituate’s Matt DiPesa were battling it out at second singles with the fate of the match and both teams’ playoff hopes on the line.

Alves led 5-3 in the first set before DiPesa rallied for a 7-5 win. Alves jumped ahead 3-0 in the second set, but once again DiPesa clawed back, winning several long volleys to take a 6-5 lead. The two exchanged point for point down the stretch for a 6-6 tie and set up a tiebreaker that DiPesa pulled out 7-4 to lift the Sailors to a 3-2 victory over the Indians.

“There were a lot of beautiful shots from both sides,” said Scituate coach Mark McGuinness, whose team will make its second-straight South finals appearance. “The Dartmouth player had a lot of beautiful shots, but the whole point of tennis is you have to hit it back one more time than the other guy and it doesn’t matter what it looks like. That’s how it goes.”

Dartmouth coach Donald York agreed.

“The other guy got just enough balls back," he said. "He was very scrappy. He was very good defensively and he could also put his volleys away. Connor had some runs and the guy stopped the runs.

"It was a heartstopper. You never knew, I felt like at any point that match could turn around. It just didn’t happen.”

Despite the deciding loss by Alves, York said the Dartmouth senior was instrumental in the Indians’ regular season-ending win over Old Rochester and deep playoff run.

“I think the big thing was Connor,” said York, noting that he had wins over Bishop Stang’s Colin DiNardo and Old Rochester’s Jahn Pothier. “About seven or eight matches ago, he turned it on. He just completely picked up his game. He played well today, but just not enough.

“This has been a dream season already. Dartmouth has never made it this far in the tournament.”

The future looks bright with the return of four starters, including two-times Standard-Times Boys Tennis Player of the Year Trevor Schwarzmann.

Schwarzmann made quick work of Scituate senior Chris White, winning 6-0, 6-0 at first singles to give Dartmouth a 1-0 match lead and improve his individual record to 22-1.

“Trevor has been the best tennis player Dartmouth High School has ever seen and he’s got another year,” York said.

Scituate’s first doubles team of senior Christian Eckelhofer and junior Tristan Smith defeated Dartmouth’s Sean Manny and Colton Almeida 6-2, 6-0 to tie the match at 1-1.

Scituate went up 2-1 when sophomore Alex Knight beat Dartmouth senior Kyle Noseworthy 6-2, 6-2, but the Indians answered with a 6-0, 6-2 victory by juniors Ryan Simas and Sean Sebastiao over sophomore Jack Paganetti and freshman Jake Cochran to set up the winner-take-all matchup between Alves and DiPesa.

“Making it here is a huge thing for us,” said Schwarzmann. “We’ve haven’t done particularly well in the playoffs. My first two years we lost in the first round. It was a goal for us to get as far as possible and to also beat Barnstable and ORR for the first time, which we did. This is probably the best team we’ve had in a long time.”

Schwarzmann credited the Indians’ work in the offseason to their improvement.

“I feel like everyone has been playing a lot over the summer,” he said. “Playing all year round definitely helps.”

York has high hopes for the next season.

“We’ve got a lot of guys coming up,” he said. “We have a huge team and they’ve been working hard all season and they’re going to work hard through the summer and the fall.

“That’s what we’re pushing for and that’s the way to become a competitive program. You can’t just pick up your racquet at the end of March and be good. They been working and improving right in front of my eyes.”

WHAT IT MEANS: With the win, Scituate (18-3) advances to Friday’s Div. 2 South final against No. 5 Duxbury (16-5) at Wareham High. “It’s our old pals Duxbury,” McGuinness said. “This is an extra added attraction. These seniors, I think part of it is they don’t want it to end. They want to keep playing.” … Dartmouth wraps up the season 18-3 with its first two playoffs wins under York.

McGUINNESS ON DARTMOUTH: “They have a really good team. They deserve to be here and it was clear about that."

YORK: “Trevor didn’t lose a single match (in the regular season) so I could always count on a point there and I was able to jockey the lineup to where we could get the victory. It worked all season long. We just came up a little bit short today.”

NOTES: This was Dartmouth’s first year in Div. 2, moving down from Div. 1. “It’s good,” York said. “It’s level with us. We’re not a Div. 1 school. We’re not big. It feels right in Div. 2. It feels like the competition is right.” … After practice, several members of Dartmouth’s baseball team stopped by the tennis courts to watch the match. The No. 5 Indians face top-seeded North Attleboro at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Div. 2 South baseball semifinals at Rockland Stadium.

Follow Laurie Los on Twitter @LaurieLosSCT