Hawks heading in the right direction

Woodland’s Mike Roulanaitis lines up a backhand during his match with Naugatuck’s Jonas Mauermann April 8 in Beacon Falls. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

Woodland’s Mike Roulanaitis lines up a backhand during his match with Naugatuck’s Jonas Mauermann April 8 in Beacon Falls. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland boys tennis team has the kind of depth this season that will make them competitive.

“Last season I’m not sure they had enough players to even have a match let alone be competitive,” Woodland first-year head coach Charles Ostrander said. “This year we had five freshmen come out for the team and now there is a little bit of depth to work with.”

The Hawks experienced the growing pains of a young program over the first two matches of the season but have found enough leaders to show them the way.

The recent weather really hasn’t done any favors for the Hawks, but Woodland finally got its first match in the books last Friday in a tough 6-3 loss to Naugatuck.

Woodland’s No. 1 singles player Mike Roulanaitis, the senior team leader, earned a convincing 8-0 win over Jonas Mauermann of Naugatuck. Freshman Joshua Powanda also pulled out a win in the singles portion of the match with an 8-4 decision over Matt Triscritti.

Roulanaitis and Powanda team up in the doubles portion of the match to take an 8-1 win for the Hawks’ third victory of the match.

“Obviously we have a young team,” Ostrander said. “We have four seniors a junior and five freshman. One of our seniors is new to the sport so we have an interesting mix. To watch the progression over the past few weeks of seeing some of the new kids develop into actual players shows that we are headed in the right direction.”

Woodland fell, 6-3, to Sacred Heart on Monday. Roulanaitis and Powanda earned victories in singles play and teamed up as the winning No. 1 doubles team, but it was the improvement of the younger players that showed the team’s continued progress.

Seniors Nick Lucas and Chris Pinevich are showing some of that leadership. Freshmen Nick Hudson and Richie Weishner battled, losing a pair of tough 8-6 matches against the Hearts.

Woodland’s Nick Lucas hits a backhand during his match with Naugatuck’s Marco Rebelo April 8 in Beacon Falls. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

Woodland’s Nick Lucas hits a backhand shot during his match with Naugatuck’s Marco Rebelo April 8 in Beacon Falls. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

The Hawks are showing progress despite not being at full strength.

“We haven’t had our full starting squad due to scheduling problems and cancellations with the weather,” Ostrander said. “We had to move things around and move guys up and they have responded.

“Like Richie Weishner was not supposed to be playing but our junior James Nelson wasn’t able to be here. Richie stepped up and battled. He was up 6-3 at one point and ended up dropping an 8-6 decision to Naugatuck.”

The Hawks earned their first win of the season Wednesday defeating Wilby, 7-2.

Roulanaitis, Pinevich, Powanda and Weishner earned singles wins. The tandems of Roulanaitis and Lucas, Pinevich and Powanda, and  Nick Hudson and Weishner picked up doubles wins.

The Hawks (1-2) are back on the court Monday at Kaynor Tech and will host Kennedy on Tuesday.