HAMDEN — The Woodland boys tennis team capped off its most successful season in team history by having several individuals win matches during last week’s Class M state tournament at Hamden High.
In the opening round, Jimmy Tompkins defeated Suffield’s Greg Cristina, 6-0, 6-2, while Matt Murphy beat Bull Havens Tech’s George Costa, 6-2, 6-3.
Tompkins later lost in the first round to No. 4 Bradley Orban of Foran, 6-0, 6-0. Murphy also fell in the first round to No. 11 Trevor Robinson of Lewis Mills, 6-4, 6-1.
Also in the first round, Stephen Pec lost to Waterford’s Alan Luner, 6-3, 6-2, while Naugatuck Valley League champion Mike Krakowski lost to Avon’s Michael VanDusen, 6-1, 6-0.
Krakowski was somewhat disappointed by his straight-set loss in the first round.
“Of course, I wanted to go farther, but I was up against a very talented Avon player,” Krakowski said. “I don’t think I played my best at states or was mentally set on the match in front of me.”
The Hawks met more success in the doubles tournament, where two teams advanced to the second round.
NVL runners-up Kyle Beynor and Pat Dietz beat Waterford’s Matthew Getty and Tucker Murphy, 7-5, 4-6, 10-4, to earn a spot in the second round. Beynor and Dietz lost to top-ranked Daniel Banker and Devin White of Stonington, 6-1, 6-1.
Also making the second round was the team of Mike Castro and Mike Ventimiglia, who earned a 6-2, 3-6, 10-8 over Berlin’s Etan Cope and Jaydip Patel in the first round. Castro and Ventimiglia fell to No. 11 Logan Gregoire-Wright and Connor Hoge of Guilford, 6-2, 7-5, in the second round.
Nick Boccuzzi and Mike Patsiarikas also qualified for the tournament but lost to Lewis Mills’ Zachary Marcoux and Cal Simko, 6-1, 6-0, in the first round.
Woodland finished the season a perfect 19-0, winning the NVL title for the first time in program history. Although the undefeated record was unexpected, Krakowski knew it was going to be a special year.
“We did not expect to go undefeated, but I would not say that we didn’t see it as realistic,” Krakowski said. “I knew we would have a lot of returning players who had been practicing year-round and I’m glad everyone’s hard work paid off.”
Krakowski became the first player in school history to win the NVL singles championship when he beat Torrington’s Steve Consolini and Crosby’s Pat Vincente in straight sets two weeks ago.
“It was my ultimate goal for the season,” Krakowski said of winning the league title. “I had come such a long way since starting sophomore year and winning the NVL title felt like the final chapter to my Woodland tennis career.”
Krakowski is one of two graduating seniors on the team as the Hawks will return their Nos. 2-6 singles players as well as most of their doubles teams. Krakowski thinks the future looks very bright for the team in the next few years.
“I believe the best of Woodland tennis is yet to come,” Krakowski said. “With the return of most starters, I see possibilities of more NVL championships and gold medals. The one thing I hope my team takes from me is that you must never expect anything. You must earn the right to play on that court day in and day out.”