Hawks, ‘Hounds off to quick starts

The Naugatuck boys tennis team got the season off to a fast 2-0 start before dropping a match this week, while Woodland picked up back-to-back wins after dropping the season-opener.

The Hawks (2-1) fell last Thursday to perennial NVL power Wolcott, 7-2, to open the season. Richie Weishner won the only singles match for the Hawks by an 8-4 margin, and the doubles team of Josh Powanda and Nick Hudson gutted out a tie-breaker 9-8 (7-4).

On Monday, the Hawks made quick work of Sacred Heart by sweeping the Hearts, 9-0. Powanda, Hudson, Weishner, Dante Polletta, Devon Polletta and Austin Roberts all won their singles matches by an 8-0 count.

The tandem of Jeff Varesio and Weishner won the No. 1 doubles match, 8-4. Tim Mendes and Roberts took an 8-1 decision, and the third doubles team of Sebastian Wojcik and Gabe Sousa made it a clean sweep in an 8-0 win.

Woodland improved to 2-1 on the season with a sweep of Wilby, 9-0, on Tuesday.

“They are starting to gain some confidence,” Woodland head coach Mike Magas said. “We had a couple of good practices last week and we are beginning to see some progress. Every day we are making positive strides in the right direction. The majority of the team has returned and they are a little more experienced.”

The Greyhounds have been improving each year under the guidance of head coach Anthony Mariano, who is in his third season at the helm.

Naugy got after it last Thursday in a 9-0 win over Kennedy.

Chris Cook, Jared Montini, Brandon Sampaio and Alec Durante all earned 8-0 wins in singles play. Jay Mezzo battled to an 8-3 win and Mike Rivera took an 8-4 decision to give the ‘Hounds a commanding 6-0 lead heading into the doubles portion of the match.

The doubles teams of Tommy Martins and Andres Maldonado (8-0), Jesse Lanci and Nelson Lavoura (8-0) and Sergio Rodriguez and Zak Robushi (8-2) made it a clean sweep.

“We are looking strong early in the season,” Mariano said. “A couple of new guys have stepped up. Chris (Cook) is only a freshman but is playing real well at number one.”

Naugatuck earned a 6-3 win over Watertown on Monday. Montini took an 8-4 decision and Mezzo put Naugy out in front with an 8-2 win. Sampaio (8-1), Durante (8-3) and Lavoura (8-0) gave the ‘Hounds a 5-1 advantage going into doubles.

The doubles team of Rithvik Rajkumar and Fernando Moreno won the third doubles match, 8-0.

“Our doubles teams are coming together and the guys are working hard to be competitive. We are starting to show some depth,” Mariano said. “Mike (Rivera) wasn’t able to be there for our Watertown match, so Nelson (Lavoura) stepped into a singles role, and we had a different number three doubles team and they played well together.”

The Greyhounds lost their first match Wednesday to Holy Cross, 6-3. Durante picked up a singles win. The doubles teams of Tommy Martins and Andres Maldonado and Zak Robushi and Sergio Rodriguez earned the Greyhounds’ (2-1) other wins on the day.

Naugatuck will visit Woodland on Thursday and be at Torrington on Friday.

After hosting Naugatuck on Thursday, Woodland will finish out the week Friday at Watertown.

“Playing Naugatuck on Thursday and Watertown on Friday will give us a good indication of where we are,” Magas said.