Woodland full of surprises 

Woodland’s Nick Hudson returns a shot during a match with Torrington’s Billy Weber April 18 at Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls. Torrington won the match, 7-2. –LUKE MARSHALL

BEACON FALLS — Although the result of Woodland’s last two boys tennis meets might not show it, the Hawks’ improvement and competitiveness has been unmistakable to coach Mike Magas.

“I’m pleasantly surprised with the guys,” Magas said. “They’ve been competitive in all the matches. Some of the scores might not indicate it, but individual matches have been competitive. I’ve been happy with what I’ve seen.”

Woodland suffered a 7-2 defeat against Wolcott on Tuesday to drop to 4-4 on the season. The Eagles, usually the top team in the Naugatuck Valley League, also dealt the Hawks a 7-2 loss in the opening meet of the season.

The Hawks picked up their two wins Tuesday in singles action. No. 4 Dante Polletta topped Tyler Shoban, 8-6, and No. 6 Austin Roberts beat Tyler Sgrott, 8-6.

No. 1 singles player Josh Powanda held his own against Wolcott’s Alex Hale, one of the top players in the league, in an 8-5 loss.

In last week’s 7-2 loss to Torrington, Powanda earned an 8-1 win over Kevin Dixon, another one of the league’s best.

“He’s been playing great,” Magas said of Powanda. “The first week was a little eye-opening for him. Sometimes he has a tendency to start slow and then build momentum as the match progresses, but he’s starting to understand that he needs to start from the first serve.”

Magas has been pleased with his entire singles lineup over the course of the first month. Roberts was the only player to win both of his matches over the last week, as he also earned an 8-1 win over Torrington’s Richard Zheng last Wednesday.

“They’ve all been pleasant surprises,” Magas said. “Nick Hudson has been playing well at No. 2. Richie Weishner has been a bulldog at No. 3. Richie fights for every single point. The Polletta twins have been surprises, especially Devon in his first year. No. 6 has been a battle between Austin Roberts and Jeff Varesio.”

Woodland is set to host a doubleheader against Crosby on Thursday to make up for a rained-out meet. The Hawks will host Holy Cross on Friday before visiting Naugatuck on Tuesday.