Gaining experience

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Woodland’s Mike Roulanaitis returns a shot during his match with Naugatuck’s Jake Gingold April 9 at Naugatuck. –LUKE MARSHALL
Woodland’s Mike Roulanaitis returns a shot during his match with Naugatuck’s Jake Gingold April 9 at Naugatuck. –LUKE MARSHALL

BEACON FALLS — The Hawks may have taken an opening-day loss, but they’ll also take the experience that each match will bring.

Playing with a starting lineup largely void of experience, Woodland competed. James Nelson and Chris Pinevich had the lone win for Woodland in an 8-1 loss to Naugy last week to open the season.

“This is a big development year for us,” Woodland head coach Mike Magas said. “The guys played well, and for many of them it was their first time at the varsity level.”

The top-seeds played a close match. Woodland’s Mike Roulanaitis, at the No. 1 spot, lost a heartbreaker to Jake Gingold by the score of 9-8 (7-4) in a tiebreak.

“It was a great match,” Magas said. “Mike got a couple of bad bounces at the beginning of the tiebreak. But, Jake hit some nice shots.”

Nelson also played the No. 2 singles position and lost, 8-4, to P.J. Morrissey. Last season, Nelson saw time at the No. 6 spot.

In the No. 3 position, Marco Rebelo of Naugy defeated Mike Normand by a score of 8-3. Normand has been working on his serve, Magas said.

Matt Triscritti beat Pinevich in singles action, 8-3, and Sebastian Oprea defeated Nick Lucas, 8-2.

“Both matches were competitive,” Magas said of Pinevich and Lucas’ matches. Both are new to the varsity level.

With the first match under their belts, many of the Hawks have now gotten a taste of varsity action.

“We’re beginning to understand what it takes to be a varsity player,” Magas said. “Eventually the nerves will go away and we’ll gain confidence.”

Woodland was scheduled to play Kennedy Wednesday. The results of the match weren’t reported as of this post. The Hawks will visit Sacred Heart Thursday, and host Wilby on Friday.