Round of Applause
The return of Round of Applause and Chorus of Boos is just about here. We’ve had a really busy spring season here at Citizen’s News, and we have to use our pages wisely. And as you all know, wise and my thoughts don’t always go together. Don’t worry, I’ll have a bunch of thoughts coming all summer long in this very section. Plus, I’m graduating from Quinnipiac University on Sunday, so I’ll have more time to come up with some A-plus ideas to stick right about here. I’m also working on a nice little retrospective to summarize my time here (it’s a pretty good time for reflection) so I’m sure you’ll enjoy that. Or use it to start your summer bonfires.
NVL postseason tournaments are scheduled to begin this weekend and the sprints that are these tourneys are pretty fun to watch. Should the tournament go on as scheduled watching four baseball or softball games at one place all day is pretty cool. And if you’ve never been to the Naugatuck Valley League track competition, it’s about as bustling a sports day as you’ll find in the Valley. I even watched my first bit of the boys tennis tournament last year, and it was a blast (except for the sweltering heat). A number of our teams and individuals should be in contention in just about every sport, so give it a shot to check out some of the action. We’ll have everything covered for you, too.
Alexa Marucci is pitching the lights out. She’s pitched two no-hitters in a row as of Wednesday and has allowed just one hit in her last three outings. Her pitching, combined with a powerful Naugatuck lineup, make it possible for the ‘Hounds to make a run at the NVL title.
The Woodland boys track team wrapped up another league championship last week with a sweep of its final league meet, finishing the NVL season 12-0. That makes two track titles in a row for the Hawks, who also won the indoor championship. A number of individuals could end up winning some gold of their own at Tuesday’s league meet.
Word from the Woods
The Hawks are preparing for their biggest match of the season Friday when they head to Wolcott with an opportunity to clinch their second straight Naugatuck Valley League championship. Woodland is 16-1 after beating Watertown and Wilby last week. The Hawks’ singles players — Kyle Beynor, Jimmy Tompkins, Matt Murphy, Stephen Pec, Pat Dietz, and Mike Patsiarikas — swept their matches against both opponents, while the Nick Rioux-Chris Zmuda and Pat Mulholland-Alex Tulk tandems earned doubles wins against Wilby. Rain early this week forced the Wolcott match to be pushed to Friday afternoon. The Hawks will get a warm-up against Kennedy on Thursday afternoon before the trip to Wolcott. The singles and doubles tournaments are slated to begin May 24.
The Woodland girls finally hit the .500 mark on the season with hard-earned sweep of two matches this week. The Hawks beat Seymour, 4-3, last Friday before toppling Ansonia, 6-1, on Monday. Two of Woodland’s victories against the Wildcats came in matches ended by tiebreakers. No. 4 singles player Lauren Tompkins took a 9-8 (7-4) victory before Olivia Harrison and Jenica Bartlett fought for a 9-8 (7-5) win in the final doubles match to clinch the win. Julia Lawton and the team of Liz Martin and Hope Gavigan also earned victories against Seymour. On Monday, all of the above competitors won again, plus Salma Shitia and the doubles team of Emily Rioux and Ayah Galal, in a 6-1 victory over Ansonia. Woodland is now 8-8 and will end the regular season with a match against Wolcott on Friday. The NVL team tournament was set to begin this weekend, but that schedule is up in the air due to this week’s rainouts. The individual tournament will be next week.
Track and Field
The Hawks were set for one final tune-up before next week’s NVL championships as they were scheduled to host Platt Tech on Thursday. The boys are 13-0 and clinched the league championship while the girls are 12-1 and could only be in contention for the league title if Holy Cross beat Watertown on Thursday. The long jump and triple jump preliminaries will be Monday at Woodland before everything else is contested on Tuesday. Several individuals and relays for both the boys and girls are expected to compete for gold medals.
The Greyhounds are on a winning streak to close the regular season. Naugy earned close victories over Sacred Heart (5-4 last Thursday) and Kennedy (6-3 last Friday) to earn their fifth win in the last six matches. Against the Hearts, Jake Burrell, Mike Popescu, and Tyler Posser all posted singles wins while the teams of Jake Morrissey-Popescu and Posser-Randy Kostka clinched the match with doubles victories. Against the Eagles, Lain Burger, Popescu, Posser, and Marcos Velasco all posted singles wins while the Burger-Velasco and Posser-Kostka duos gained doubles victories. Naugatuck was set to host Crosby on Wednesday to close out the regular season before next week’s singles and doubles tournaments.
The Naugatuck girls are on a four-match winning streak as they prepare to close the regular season. The Greyhounds earned victories over Sacred Heart (5-2 last Thursday), Kennedy (4-3 last Friday), and Wilby (7-0 on Monday) entering their season-ending match at Crosby on Thursday. In Naugy’s closest match of the week against the Hearts, Miranda Jang, Kaitlin Carter, and Katie Bottinick all won singles matches while the Alexa Ramos-Lani Chucta and Hannah Kim-Martina Niebrzydowski teams both won doubles matches. Against the Eagles, Andrea Jimenez earned a singles win and the Mikaela Soto-Kayla Gallant tandem earned a doubles victory. The Greyhounds (13-4) visited Crosby on Thursday for their final match of the regular season before the team and individual tournaments take place over the next week.
Track and Field
Both the Naugatuck boys and girls track teams won their final dual meets of the season last Friday with narrow victories over Torrington. The boys took an 81-69 win while the girls posted an 81-68 victory. Event winners for the boys included Nick Moriello (400, 800); Isaque Monteiro (300 hurdles); the 4-by-400 relay team (Patrick Alves, Colin Reilly, Monteiro, Moriello); Mike Johnson (discus); Mick Pernell (triple jump, high jump); and Colton Wagner (pole vault). Event winners for the girls included the 4-by-800 relay team (Katarina Gullotta, Mercedes Desousa, Samantha Hilse, Stephanie Lima); Shannon Hale (100 hurdles, javelin, pole vault); Jordyn Allen (800, 1,600); Georgette Nixon (400); Hilse (3,200); the 4-by-400 relay team (Carla Soares, Regina Roper, Nixon, Sturdivant); Brianna Ritter (discus); and Sturdivant (long jump). The boys finished the regular season 8-4 while the girls finished 8-6. Both will compete in next week’s NVL championships. The long jump and triple jump preliminaries are Monday before all other competitions and finals on Tuesday at Woodland.