Naugatuck gets back on track

Naugatuck’s Brandon Sampaio returns a shot during a match with Wolcott’s Tyler Shoban April 17 at Naugatuck High School. Wolcott won, 6-3. Naugatuck bounced back from the loss with back-to-back wins. -JOE PALLADINO/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

NAUGATUCK — Back-to-back wins to start this week has Naugatuck back on track after a tough stretch that saw the Greyhounds drop three out of four matches to frontrunners in the NVL.

The rough patch included losses to Holy Cross by a 6-3 margin, Torrington in a 5-4 nail-bitter and to undefeated Wolcott by a 6-3 margin.

“We faced some early struggles battling some of the top contenders in the NVL,” Naugatuck head coach Anthony Mariano said. “I think we were able to take something positive from each of those matches.”

The Greyhounds put what they learned into action this week with wins over Watertown, 6-3, on Monday and Crosby, 8-1, on Tuesday to improve to 5-3.

On Monday, Naugy defeated Watertown for the second time this season after sitting idle for six days due to weather cancellations. The layoff didn’t seem to throw the Greyhounds off their game as they led 4-2 going into the doubles portion of the match.

Chris Cook (8-3) and Jared Montini (8-6) came up short in the first singles matches before Naugy ran the table.  Jay Mezzo showed his resolve winning a tie-breaker 9-8 (7-3). That started the comeback with Brandon Sampaio (8-1), Alec Durante (8-1) and Tommy Martins (8-0) making quick work of their opponents.

Naugatuck’s Chris Cook returns a shot during a match with Wolcott’s Alex Hale April 17 at Naugatuck High School. Wolcott won, 6-3. Naugatuck bounced back from the loss with back-to-back wins. -JOE PALLADINO/REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

The duo of Cook and Mezzo battled to win the No. 1 doubles match 8-6, and the team of Martins and Durante closed it out at No. 3 doubles with an 8-1 decision.

Naugy defeated Crosby in convincing fashion.

Cook (8-2), Mezzo (8-0), Sampaio (8-1), Durante (8-0), Martins (8-0) and Nelson Lavoura (8-0) swept the singles matches. In doubles, the teams of Andres Maldonado and Dylan Triscritti (8-1) and Sergio Rodriguez and Rithvik Rajkumar (8-0) picked up wins.

“Our team is progressing very well,” Mariano said. “Our lineup right now for the most part is pretty well set. We are looking forward to finishing out the rest of the season strong.”

The Greyhounds will close out the week on Friday at home against Wilby before preparing for a rematch with Woodland next Tuesday.