‘Hounds, Hawks end seasons in states

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The Naugatuck and Woodland girls tennis teams were upended Saturday in the qualifying round of states in their respective divisions.

The No. 11-seeded Greyhounds hosted No. 22 South Windsor in Naugatuck after making a run to the Naugatuck Valley League tournament semifinals. Naugatuck fell to South Windsor, 6-1.

“We had a very successful season in what I felt would be a rebuilding year,” Naugatuck head coach Jose Sendra said. “To advance as far as we did reaching the NVL semifinals goes to show the hard work that these girls put in this season.”

The Greyhounds put it all on the line versus South Windsor.

No. 1 singles player Sarah Cook was upended by Aashka Patel in 3-6, 3-6 sets. South Windsor forged a lead after Reeya Khurana got by senior Liz Perez, 1-6, 1-6.

Freshman Kelly Carr showed some of the young promise for the ‘Hounds before falling in a tough 3-6, 0-6 loss to Swathi Rajesh in the No. 3 singles match. Senior Tathiana Serrano lost a tight battle 5-7, 0-6 to Marta Holovatska.

Sophomores Abigail Jang and Floraine Evardo dropped a 3-6, 3-6 decision to Angela Lin and Anna Wallace. The No. 3 doubles tandem of seniors Karla Iglesias and Crystal Wooster came up on the short end of a 3-6, 3-6 margin to Fay Viebahn and Kelly Kozan.

The bright spot for the Greyhounds was the victory pulled out by the No. 2 doubles team of junior Ally Mezzo and sophomore Kelly Murphy. The pair earned a 6-2, 7-5 win over Emily Eaton and Cassie St. Onge.

Naugatuck will lose a core of seniors to graduation, but the youth on the team is promising.

“We are losing some very talented seniors but have a strong group of players coming back,” Sendra said. “Ally (Mezzo) showed up to cheer on her teammates at the NVL individual doubles semifinals and that goes to show how excited she is about the progress this team has made.”

The state tournament always offers stiff competition, Sendra said, but he’s pleased with the effort of his team.

“It’s always a tough draw in the states as we are consistently going up against teams that play year round,” he said. “But we went out and gave it our best, and I’m proud of these girls for what they achieved this season.”

Woodland, which made a third straight appearance in the NVL tournament title match, was ranked ninth in the Class M tournament and hosted No. 24 Bethel on Saturday.
Bethel topped the Hawks, 6-1.

“It wasn’t the way we wanted to end the season but we had a lot of success this year and I’m proud of the girls’ efforts,” Woodland first year head coach Kate Gavigan said.

Woodland put up a fight in several of the matches.

Sophomore Ally Mayne led the team all year long at the No. 1 singles spot, and came through with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Jessica Bergen. Junior Katie Rioux dropped a tough 1-6, 0-6 match with Ariana Leggio. Senior Daphne Cianciolo lost 0-6, 0-6 to Alicia Weaver in the No. 3 singles battle. Freshman Amanda Doughney came up short in a 4-6, 2-6 set back to Rachel Belcher.

In the doubles matches, senior Erica Boccuzzi and junior Paige Gainey fell 5-7, 1-6 to Kiana Yup and Dauitra Makarla. The No. 2 doubles tandem of junior Chloe Ariola and sophomore Alyssa Varesio was upended 7-6, 3-6, 1-6. The No. 3 doubles team of junior Alex Pettas and sophomore Angelina Padilla dropped a tough 1-6, 0-6 to Emma Crouse and Jasine Goncola.

“I’m very pleased at how we ended up this year playing for the league championship for the third year in a row,” Gavigan said. “We have developed a solid core of younger players and we are excited to see that progression continue next season.”