NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck girls tennis team had some big spots to fill in the lineup heading into the season. Three matches into the year, the Greyhounds have shown they are up to the task.
Naugatuck improved to 3-0 with a 6-0 win over Wolcott on Monday.
“We focused on improving any weaknesses we may have. This league is not won by what you do in the first week of the season,” Naugatuck head coach Jose Sendra said. “You need to continually improve your game and be playing at your very best come the end of May.”
The match against the Eagles proved to be an early measuring stick as Wolcott came in at 3-0 having dropped only one individual match in those wins.
No. 3 singles player junior Floraine Evardo improved to 3-0 with an 8-4 victory over Wolcott’s Kaylee Bosques. The No. 2 doubles tandem of junior Lori Dietz and sophomore Patricia Escaleira stayed undefeated, as well, at 3-0 to lead the Greyhounds.
No. 1 singles player Sarah Cook, the team’s senior captain, improved to 2-1 on the season with a win. Sophomore Kelly Carr and junior Diana Velasco also improved to 2-1 on the season earning victories in the singles portion of the match.
“The key in this match was to come out and give it our best,” Sendra said. “Win or lose, if we do our best we are doing all that we need to do.”
One of the Greyhounds’ strong points is the play of their doubles teams. Naugatuck leaned on its doubles teams to defeat St. Paul, 4-3, April 8.
Junior Kelly Murphy and sophomore Kelly Richmond won the No. 1 doubles match, 8-1, against St. Paul. Escaleira and Dietz battled to a 9-7 win in the No. 2 doubles match. The tandem of senior Nicole Bolduc and sophomore Gina Greco decided the match with an 8-2 victory.
Armed with a 4-0 lead after the singles portion against Wolcott on Monday, Murphy and senior Ally Mezzo battled to an 8-5 win. Dietz and Escaleira won the second doubles to put Naugy on top 6-0 and the third doubles was suspended due to rain.
“There are some teams in the NVL that really test you,” Sendra said. “Last Friday, St. Paul held a 3-1 advantage after the singles potion of the match and we showed our depth by sweeping the doubles to pull out a 4-3 win.”
The Greyhounds opened the season April 6 with a 7-0 sweep of Ansonia.
“As long as we keep developing and continuing to improve we will put ourselves in a good position come tournament time,” Sendra said. “You always wonder what is going to happen when you graduate a good part of your lineup. But every year you always have some of the younger kids step up. We are seeing that this season that some of these younger players are stepping into bigger roles and they are being successful.”
The Greyhounds will need to continue to strive to be at their best this week. Naugatuck will visit Crosby on Wednesday before hosting Woodland on Friday and Holy Cross next Monday.