‘Hounds, Hawks advance in tennis tournaments

The final of the Naugatuck Valley League girls tennis tournament features a rematch of a thrilling regular-season finale between Naugatuck and Sacred Heart.

No. 1 Naugatuck will play No. 2 Sacred Heart for the title on Thursday at 10 a.m. at Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls. The final was scheduled for last Friday but postponed due to a conflict with a prom.

Naugatuck defeated No. 5 Wolcott, 5-2, in the semifinals last Thursday. The Greyhounds swept the doubles matches. Sabrah Cegielski and Catarina Rego, Brielle Behuniak and Hailey Russell, and Cristina Rego and Natalie Paradise were all victorious. Patricia Escaleira and Gina Greco won singles matches for Naugatuck.

Sacred Heart reached the final with a 5-2 win over No. 3 St. Paul in the semifinals.

Naugatuck and Sacred Heart faced off on May 10 with both teams entering the match undefeated. Naugatuck won, 4-3, to stay unbeaten. The Greyhounds rallied from a 3-1 deficit, and the match came down to the No. 2 doubles match that Behuniak and Russell won, 8-8 (10-8).

The No. 4 Woodland girls lost in the first round last Thursday to Wolcott.

On the boys side, No. 5 Naugatuck fell, 6-3, to eventual champion and No. 1 seed Wolcott in the semifinals last Thursday. Tommy Martins won a singles match for the Greyhounds. The teams of Martins and Jared Montini and Brandon Sampaio and Alec Durante won doubles matches.

Individual tournaments: The NVL individual tennis tournaments kicked off on Monday.

In the boys tournament, Woodland’s Josh Powanda will face Holy Cross’ Dan Huang in the singles semifinals. Powanda defeated Wilby’s Kwabena Bahh-Bentum in the quarterfinals to advance.

In doubles, two Naugatuck teams reached the semifinals. Naugatuck’s Chris Cook and Jay Mezzo will play Torrington’s Kevin Dixon and Brett Stater while Montini and Martins will face Torrington’s Brendan Cisowski and David Teti.

Cook and Mezzo beat Holy Cross’ Trey Denardo and Marcellan Fauth in the quarterfinals. Montini and Martins defeated Wolcott’s Raheel Chowdherry and Kevin Quinn to advance to the semis.

The semifinals and finals of the tournaments are set for Wednesday at Wolcott High School starting at 2 p.m.

Naugatuck and Woodland will be well represented in the semifinals of the girls tournament, too.

Amanda Doughney will play St. Paul’s Victoria Kilbourne in the semifinals of the singles tournament. Doughney defeated Watertown’s Elizabeth Rinaldi in the quarterfinals to advance.

Three of the four teams in the semifinals of the doubles tournament are from Naugatuck or Woodland.

The team of Cegielski and Catarino Rego will play Woodland’s Mia Piccolo and Alanna Carasone in one semifinal match. Behuniak and Russell are set to play in the other semifinal match against Sacred Heart’s Alexa Gallino and Nhi Nguyen.

Cegielski and Catarino Rego defeated Kennedy’s Ariana Padilla and Maren Deleany to reach the semifinal while Piccolo and Carasone beat Lauren Robert and Mikayla Welton from Wolcott. Behuniak and Russell beat Watertown’s Bianca Way and Alba Xhema in the quarterfinals.

The semifinals and finals are set for Wednesday at Woodland starting at 2 p.m.