Greyhounds among frontrunners

Naugatuck’s Lori Dietz serves during a doubles match with her partner Patricia Escaleira against Wolcott’s Skylar Romsky and Kerri Rodrigues April 19 at Naugatuck High School. The match was postponed due to rain. –LUKE MARSHALL

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck girls tennis team is proving to be one of the teams to beat in the NVL. The defending NVL champions improved to 5-1 on the season after Monday’s 7-0 win over Seymour.

Naugatuck junior Kelly Carr knocked off Seymour’s Allison Kogut, 8-2, in the No. 1 singles match. Seniors Floraine Evardo (8-3), Kelly Murphy (8-5) and Diana Velasco (8-0) turned out singles victories.

Evardo, Murphy, Velasco and fellow senior Lori Dietz provide the type of senior leadership that is keeping Naugy in the hunt.

Evardo and Murphy are both 5-1 on the season while Velasco has battled back from an early-season injury to become a steady performer in the No. 4 singles spot.

“Everyone is working real hard and they are dedicated and that has led to our success so far,” Murphy said. “We had a few injuries and some of the younger girls had to step up and they have done a great job.

“Our double teams have been playing really well. When the match comes down to a few points either way we have been able to rely on our double teams to pull it out. There is really good team chemistry among the seniors, and we feel that responsibility to be there for the younger players.”

The doubles teams showed their worth against Seymour when the No. 1 tandem of Dietz and junior Patricia Escaleira pulled off an 8-5 win. The duo is undefeated at 6-0 on the season.

The tandem of junior Kelly Redmond and sophomore Sabrah Cegielski earned an 8-0 win, and the No. 3 doubles team of junior Gina Greco and freshman Briello Buhuniak made it a clean sweep with an 8-2 decision.

Naugatuck’s Patricia Escaleira hits a shot during a doubles match with her partner Lori Dietz against Wolcott’s Skylar Romsky and Kerri Rodrigues April 19 at Naugatuck High School. The match was postponed due to rain. –LUKE MARSHALL

Sophomores Justes Cureton and Stephanie Bradley have also shown their influence compiling a 1-1 ledger this season.

“The returning players are where I expected them to be,” Naugatuck head coach Jose Sendra said. “They are good leaders and they are getting the rest of the team involved.

“Every day is about getting better. Our double teams have been pretty consistent for us. They get in there, they battle and they do good things for us. We will be counting on them this year just as we did last season when we won the league.”

Sendra said he wants the team to learn something each time out on the court.

“That will be the focus for the remainder of the season,” he said. “Learn about our opponent and in the same vain learn about ourselves.”

Naugatuck is scheduled to play Wilby on Thursday. The Greyhounds will visit Crosby on Saturday and host Woodland on May 2.