BY KEN MORSE
The conclusion of the NVL boys tennis season stayed on script and followed the pattern of last year. Watertown and Woodland battled it out for the team championship and in the individual championship tournament the Hawks’ pair of Andy Hopkinson and Tyler Macdowall defended their doubles title by winning it for the second year in a row.
“I’m very proud of them to come back here and win it for the second year in a row,” said Woodland coach Ryan McEvoy. “In the individual tournament I think everyone played fantastic. We had two singles players reach the quarterfinals and our other doubles team made the quarterfinals, as well.”
In the singles championship it was a showdown between Watertown teammates Aiden Moaddel and Jack Slattery with the 2021 runner-up Moaddel finally winning the title.
In the singles tournament Naugy’s William Zheng went 1-1, losing in the second round. Teammate Manase Mutshima was upended in the opening round by Nick Bshara of Woodland.
Kayo Niebrzydowski and Bshara each made it to the quarterfinal round, finishing the singles tournament with 2-1 marks. Niebrzydowski lost to Slattery, 6-2, 6-2, and Bshara lost a tough decision to Damien Josephson of Kennedy, 2-6, 6-2, 10-8.
The Naugy doubles team of Alex Felix and Marcus Baptist lost in the first round, as did the Greyhound pairing of Brian Barth and Aidan Lau. Both of the Woodland doubles teams advanced to the semifinals.
“My goal coming in here was to try and establish the Woodland boys tennis program into an annually successful program,” said McEvoy. “Making runner-up as a team two years running and having our doubles team win back-to-back league titles is certainly a step in the right direction.”
Diego Sargent and Nate Bouffard won their first two matches in the tournament, earning an 8-1 win and then a 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) victory, before falling short to Ryan Butwell and Finn Street of Watertown, 6-4, 6-1.
For Hopkinson and Macdowall, the road to defending their 2021 doubles title was an easy journey, winning 6-1, 6-0 in the quarterfinal, 6-2, 6-1 in the semifinal and then ousting Butwell and Street rather handily, 6-4, 6-1.
“We have proven a lot to ourselves and the league over the past two seasons,” added McEvoy. “Obviously, winning the NVLs is the next thing on the list of accomplishments that we are after, but we did what we could this year and hopefully we can grow even more next year.”
BY KEN MORSE