BEACON FALLS — They almost did it. The soccer players who, as Naugatuck Athletic Director Tom Pompei paraphrased, said, “Eh, I think I’ll play tennis this year” darn near won the Naugatuck Valley League doubles title Wednesday.
Danielle Charette and Rebeka Mitchell, seniors who had never played competitive tennis until last month, first posted a perfect regular-season record as the Greyhounds’ No. 2 doubles pair, then won four straight NVL tournament matches and pushed to three sets the more experienced Seymour duo of Christine Moon and Elli Emmanouil in the final.
They won the first set before succumbing, 6-4, 3-6, 4-6.
Charette and Mitchell are a sporting experiment gone wondrously right, an affirmative answer to the question Can two natural athletes simply pick up rackets and succeed instantly in the relatively weak NVL?
Woodland’s Angela Vallilli and Avery Gartman finished fourth in the tourney, losing to the Wolcott pair of Maryam Iftikar and Mackenzie Miller in the bronze-medal match, 6-4, 3-6, 0-6.