Naugy girls off to hot start

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Naugatuck senior captain Miranda Jang and the Greyhounds are off to a 6-1 start to the season. –FILE PHOTO

NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck girls tennis team is off to a fast start.

The Greyhounds have won six of their first seven matches following a 7-0 win over Crosby on Monday afternoon. While the wins have piled up, more telling matches are coming up.

“The true test for us will be the next three matches,” Naugy head coach Jose Sendra said.

Sendra was referring to Wednesday”s match at Torrington, the only team to beat Naugy this season. After the match with the Red Raiders, the ‘Hounds travel to Seymour on Friday and host Woodland on Monday.

Last year, the Greyhounds lost to Seymour during an 11-7 season and dropped matches to Woodland players in the Naugatuck Valley League tournament.

This year, however, the Greyhounds feature a more experienced lineup, led by senior captain Miranda Jang, who has been steady at the No. 1 singles position. Behind her are three more seniors — Kaitlin Carter, Andrea Jimenez, and Katie Bottinick.

In the match on Monday, Bottinick did not compete, but a newcomer stepped in and picked up a win. Sophomore Hannah Kim took Bottinick’s spot in the singles lineup and won her match —showing the depth the team possesses.

“Hannah is a good technical player and plays smart,” Sendra said.

While the doubles teams have fared well, the seasoned group of singles players has taken the pressure off of their relatively inexperienced teammates.

“We’ve been more dominant in singles matches, but these players have at least two years of playing experience,” Sendra said.

Two more seniors — Alexa Ramos and Lani Chucta — have paced doubles play for Naugy. After them, sophomores Mikaela Santo and Kayla Gallant have also performed well.

Kim has also teamed with Martina Niebryzdowski. The sophomore duo picked up a key, 9-8 win over Kennedy last week en route to a 4-3 team victory.

After the victory on Monday, Naugy turned its focus to preparing for the important stretch of matches.

“We need the next few days to focus on keeping this run going,” Sendra said. “We want to continue to grow as tennis players so that we’re playing our best tennis at the NVL tournament.”