NAUGATUCK — The biggest challenge this season for the Naugatuck girls tennis team has been consistency, according to head coach Jose Sendra.
The Greyhounds have seemed to take two steps forward and then one step back down the stretch of the season.
“We have been a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde kind of team,” Sendra said. “I think our biggest challenge this season has been consistency.”
Naugatuck put an end to Sacred Heart’s 11-match winning streak May 5 by a 4-3 margin.
On Monday, in the completion of a suspended match with Wolcott, the Greyhounds came up on the short end of a 4-3 final.
Naugatuck got back in the win column by sweeping Torrington on Tuesday and Wilby on Wednesday.
Sarah Cook, Kelly Carr, Floraine Evardo and Diana Velasco swept the singles matches versus Torrington. The doubles teams of Kelly Murphy and Ally Mezzo, Lori Dietz and Patricia Escaleira, and Nicole Bolduc and Gina Greco completed the shutout for Naugatuck (11-3).
Cook (8-0) and Carr (8-2) made quick work of the Sacred Heart opponents to give Naugatuck the lead in last Thursday’s match at Fulton Park in Waterbury. Evardo and Velasco were taken as the Hearts tied it heading into the doubles portion of the match.
Murphy and Mezzo (8-5) had a tough time before pulling out the win at No. 1 doubles. Dietz and Escaleira came up short, 8-6, at No. 2 doubles before Bolduc and Greco (8-4) helped Naugatuck secure the win.
“When we play our game we can play with anyone in the league,” Sendra said. “The key for us to be playing at our best when it counts the most, and that is in the NVL tournament.”
Naugatuck dropped a tough match on Monday at Wolcott. The results of the completion of the suspended match had Velasco (7-6, 7-2) coming up with an overtime win, the only singles victory for the Greyhounds.
Naugy almost pulled it off in the doubles portion of the match. Murphy and Mezzo (6-1) along with Dietz and Escaleira (9-7) pulled out wins to tie the match. The Eagles had the last say taking the No. 3 doubles match, 6-4, over Bolduc and Greco.
“Wolcott has come a long way since the start of the season,” Sendra said. “We beat them 6-0 earlier in the season but they have been doing amazing things and will be one of the surprise teams at the NVL tournament.”
The Greyhounds end the regular season against defending league champion Watertown on Thursday.
“We finish up the regular season with Watertown and it could be a gift or a curse. Win or loss, what it does to us mentally will be the key factor going into the NVL tournament,” Sendra said.
The NVL team tennis tournament starts next Monday and Tuesday with quarterfinal action. The top eight teams make the tourney.