Hawks show fight all season

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Woodland junior Mike Roulanaitis led the Hawks on the tennis court this season. –FILE PHOTO
Woodland junior Mike Roulanaitis led the Hawks on the tennis court this season. –FILE PHOTO

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland boys tennis team showed progress throughout the season.

Working with a small roster, several individual spots shined bright for the Hawks. The team’s No.1 seed Mike Roulanaitis won his first-round NVL individual tournament match last week, and lost a close second-round match.

Roulanaitis lost 8-6 to Torrington’s Ethan Barbieri, whom he had defeated twice during the regular season. After finishing the season with an over-.500 record at the top spot in the lineup, Roulanaitis proved he belonged.

“Mike stepped up all year,” Woodland head coach Mike Magas said. “There are a lot of quality players in the league, and some of the matches that Mike lost were close.”

Without a senior in the lineup, the Hawks relied on Roulanaitis at the top. They also asked sophomore James Nelson to take a big leap in the lineup.

“James moved from sixth to second seed,” Magas said. “In that spot, you’re going against a lot of quality players.”

Magas said Nelson’s game improved throughout the year and he was in a lot of close matches. Nelson fell, 8-1, in the NVL individual tournament to Wolcott’s Alex Hale in the preliminary round.

Junior Mike Normand’s game also got better over the season, Magas pointed out.

In NVL doubles play, Chris Pinevich and Elif Abedin won their preliminary round match, 8-0, versus Desmond Hall and Dinesh Ramjitt of Crosby. The pair lost 8-6 in the next round to Wolcott’s Matt Spina and Matt Mastropietro.

Normand and Nick Lucas lost their preliminary round match, 8-2, against Kennedy’s
Rilind Racaj and Florjan Bablusha.

Despite one team win on the season, the Hawks fought all season and are all expected to return next season.

“The team deserves a lot of credit,” Magas said. “They battled throughout the season.”