NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck and Woodland girls tennis teams were on a collision course since the start of the season. They collided last Friday in the borough as both teams came in unbeaten.
“You could just feel the excitement on the bus on the way over here,” Woodland head coach Kate Gavigan said. “It was a lot of fun they were getting pumped up for this match. Naugatuck is a great team and it brought our game to another level.”
The Hawks were impressive winning all three double matches by 8-3 finals to top Naugy, 5-2. What was even more impressive was the fact that it was the third match in three days for the Hawks, who showed no signs of being weary.
“We were more concerned about not having enough practice time to fix some of our mistakes,” Gavigan said. “This is one of the mountains I was talking about and there are a few waiting for us up ahead.”
The tandem of Katie Rioux and Paige Gainey earned the win over the Greyhounds’ No. 1 doubles team of Patricia Escaleira and Lori Dietz. The Hawks No. 2 team of Alyssa Varesio and Angelina Padilla ousted Nicole Bolduc and Gina Greco.
The Hawks finished the sweep of the doubles with Morgan Stockheimer and Rayhan Luzeri getting by Kelly Redmond and Saumya Shah.
“Every match has to be about improving and you can’t put too much stock into one match,” Naugatuck head coach Jose Sendra said. “I’m pretty confident we will be one of the top eight teams and play for the league tournament. I’m sure we will see Woodland again and that’s when it will matter the most.”
The Greyhounds and Hawks dueled to a 2-2 draw in the singles matches.
Woodland’s Ali Mayne beat Naugatuck’s Sarah Cook, 8-0, as Amanda Doughney took an 8-4 win over Naugatuck’s Kelly Carr.
Naugatuck battled back with Diana Velasco defeating Elif Abedin, 8-4, and Kelly Murphy turning back Woodland’s Ali Pettas, 8-4.
Naugatuck and Woodland have met in the NVL tournament over the past few seasons and by the looks of it they will meet again in a significant match come tourney time at the end of May.
“The season is about improving,” Sendra reiterated. “You don’t want to put too much emphasis on any one match but this is Woodland and I get it.”
On Monday, Naugatuck bounced back with a 7-0 sweep of Holy Cross. The Greyhounds (5-1) set the tone early in the singles matches.
Cook, Carr and Diana Velasco all won by 8-1 margins. Murphy took an 8-0 win that secured the victory for Naugy. The doubles teams of Escaleira-Dietz won, 8-2, Bolduc and Greco teamed up for an 8-1 win, and Redmond and Shah won, 8-5, to complete the sweep.
Woodland fell for the first time this season, 4-3, to Sacred Heart (5-1) on Monday at Fulton Park in Waterbury. Mayne won her singles match, 8-0, and Doughney took an 8-2 decision in the No. 2 singles.
The Hawks’ (6-1) doubles team of Varesio and Padilla tied the match at 3-3 with an 8-3 win. Sacred Heart pulled it out the win in the third doubles match.
Naugatuck will face Seymour on Wednesday and be at home against Torrington on Friday.
The Hawks will play at St. Paul Wednesday before a much-needed three-day break.