BEACON FALLS — The Woodland boys tennis team is putting up a good fight two weeks into the season.
The Hawks had to replace a few players in the lineup, but that is something every team faces each year. However, when one of those players happens to be NVL singles champion Mike Roulanaitis, the replacing part gets a little harder.
Second-year head coach Charlie Ostrander and his boys seem up to the challenge. They have made it through two weeks of the season with a competitive 2-2 record.
“Considering the first two days of practice consisted of us shoveling off the court I think we are making great progress,” Ostrander said. “We have nine sophomores, a freshman, a junior and one senior, so I would say we are young but the kids are really committed.”
On Monday, Woodland went on the road to Fulton Park in Waterbury and came home with a 7-2 win over Sacred Heart. Josh Powanda won the No. 1 singles match, 8-2, followed by a hard-earned 8-5 win by Nick Hudson in the No. 2 singles match.
Woodland’s Richie Weishner battled to an 8-4 win. Dante Polletta, Jeff Varesio and Gabe Sousa all earned 8-0 wins to give the Hawks a commanding 6-0 lead heading into the doubles portion of the match.
Sacred Heart forfeited the third doubles but picked up an 8-0 win in the first doubles match. The tandem of Nate Larowe and Sebastian Wojcik battled for the Hawks but fell short by an 8-6 margin for the final 7-2 outcome.
Woodland fell to Naugatuck, 7-2, on April 5. Powanda and Nelosn earned the wins for the Hawks, as five of the nine matches were contested.
“We opened with a good win over Wilby,” Ostrander said. “We lost to Naugatuck but it seemed like a lot of the matches where in the 8-5, 8-6 range.”
Woodland fell to Wolcott, 8-1, last Friday with Nelson and Dante Polletta earning the only win in the second doubles match. The Eagles are undefeated on the season and went undefeated last year.
“We did lose to Wolcott, but they are Wolcott,” Ostrander said. “Nick Lucas, a former player, has been coming to practice to help out, and Mike Roulanaitis came to the Wolcott match to show his support.
“We have six kids who never played before so we are developing the talent we have and trying to build a foundation to work with down the road. But I think we can be competitive enough to send a few kids to the states.”
Woodland is scheduled to play Watertown on Thursday. The Hawks will host Kennedy on April 17.