Naugy boys, girls reach NVL tennis finals

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The Naugatuck boys and girls tennis teams advanced to the Naugatuck Valley League tournament championships in the same year for the first time in school history.

The girls team has been a mainstay at the top of the bracket since coach Jose Sendra took over the reins in 2011. In the last five years, the girls have two runner-up finishes, two semifinal appearances and won the title in 2016.

No. 1 Naugatuck is set to face No. 3 Watertown Saturday at 1 p.m. at Wilby High School in Waterbury for the girls title.

The boys tournament began in 2015, and the Greyhounds have been knocking at the door of the championship match with three straight semifinal appearances under former coach Anthony Mariano.

This year, they made it. The No. 1-seeded Greyhounds are set to face No. 3 Torrington Saturday at 11 a.m. at Wilby for the championship.

The Naugy boys put up a 14-2 regular season record under head coach Brett Hayward, who in his second stint at the helm (5-10, 2015). The 14-win total matched the record of the 2007 NVL champion Greyhounds.

The boys made quick work of No. 8 Sacred Heart in the quarterfinals May 13, by sweeping the Hearts, 5-0. That set up a match with six-time NVL champion and No. 4 seed Wolcott in the semifinals May 16.

The Greyhounds won the match, 4-1. Chris Cook pulled out a 6-4, 7-5 win at No. 1 singles. In No. 3 singles, Jay Mezzo gave Naugy a 2-1 advantage with a 6-3, 6-1 win after Jared Montini was edged out, 3-6, 2-6, in No. 2 singles.

The doubles teams of Brandon Sampaio and Andres Maldonado (6-3, 6-2) and Jon Vincent-DJ Fine (6-3, 6-1) sent Naugy to its first ever NVL tournament final.

The Naugy girls (17-1 overall, 17-0 NVL) is looking to make amends after losing in the championship final to Sacred Heart last year.

After dispatching of No. 8 Seymour, 6-1, in the quarterfinals, Naugy beat No. 4 St. Paul, 5-2, in the semifinals May 16 to advance to the finals for the third time in the last four years.

Sabrah Cegielski dropped an 8-1 decision at No. 1 singles before Naugy took over the match. Catarina Rego and Cristina Rego took 8-2 decisions in No. 2 and No. 3 singles, respectively, and Yahna Ancheta won 8-3 in No. 4 singles to give the Greyhounds a 3-1 advantage heading into doubles.

The No. 3 doubles team of Adriana Moreno and Ashley Antunes rallied from 3-5 down for an 8-6 win to clinch the match. The No. 1 doubles team of Brielle Behuniak and Hailey Russell picked up an 8-3 win.

Hawks bow out: The No. 2 Woodland boys lost to No. 3 Torrington, 3-2, in the semifinals May 15.

Josh Powanda earned a 6-4, 6-1 win in No. 1 singles. The No. 2 doubles team of Nick Hudson and Devon Polletta picked up the other win for the Hawks (14-3).

Woodland swept No. 7 Holy Cross in the quarterfinals on May 14.

The No. 5-seeded Woodland girls fell in the quarterfinals, 5-2, to No. 4 St. Paul. No. 2 singles player Kaitlyn Crosby earned an 8-5 win, and the duo of Mia Piccolo and Alana Carasone won 8-4 in No. 1 doubles for the Hawks (10-6).