NAUGATUCK — The Naugatuck girls tennis team was supposed to be in a rebuilding phase this season. Apparently the project is well ahead of schedule for the 6-2 Greyhounds.
The Greyhounds are establishing a solid front four in the singles to go along with undefeated duo in the doubles, which is helping Naugatuck to keep pace with the top teams in the NVL.
Naugatuck’s two losses so far were both 4-3 setbacks to Woodland and Wolcott, teams that are at the top of the NVL.
“Both of the matches we lost came right down to the final doubles,” Naugatuck head coach Jose Sendra said. “It keeps us hungry going into our next match. This was going to be a rebuilding season after all the girls we lost to graduation last year, but the girls are proving me wrong. They are very competitive. They have a lot of energy out on the court and not only do they want to do well, they expect to do well.”
Last week, Naugatuck made quick work of Crosby, 7-0, and Seymour, 6-1. On Monday, the Greyhounds were at it again in a tough match with Torrington. Two matches went to tiebreakers versus Torrington, but Naugy pulled away to earn a 5-2 win.
Sarah Cook set the tone battling out an 8-6 win over Taryn Canfield in the No. 1 singles match. Liz Perez has been coming on this season and easily took an 8-2 decision over Julia Traub.
Freshman Kelly Carr wasn’t taking no for an answer as she grinded out a 9-7 showdown with Reina Lee. Naugatuck made it a clean sweep in the singles when Floraine Evarado handled Paige Middleton by an 8-4 count.
Crystal Wooster and Abigail Jang got hooked up in an overtime battle with the Red Raiders’ duo of Sima El-Ayoub and Cara McCarthy. Torrington escaped with the 9-7 win.
Ally Mezzo and Kelly Murphy remained undefeated as a doubles tandem taking an 8-4 decision from Kaitlyn Grantmeyer and Emily Buzzi to secure the victory for Naugatuck.
“The combination of Ally Mezzo and Kelly Murphy has worked out well as they are undefeated in doubles this season,” Sendra said. “They are not the most experienced, but they have athleticism and a great desire to win.”
Torrington managed to take the final doubles match as the Greyhounds’ Salena Na and Karla Iglesias fell short, 8-3, to Bayleigh DiMauro and Sara Gardella.
The Greyhounds are only getting better as the season progresses.
“I’m seeing improvement in our technique with every match we play,” Sendra said. “Kelly Carr has been a pleasant surprise for us and she never gives up. What I like most about this group of girls is the camaraderie as they are always pulling for one another, which makes them fun to coach.”
Naugatuck is scheduled to finish out the week versus Kennedy on Wednesday and Watertown on Thursday. The Greyhounds will be back on the court May 5 when they visit Holy Cross.