Round of Applause
Woodland’s list of undefeated league champions grew by two more this spring, as the boys outdoor track and boys tennis teams both ran the table in the Naugatuck Valley League to earn championships. The track team finished with an NVL record of 12-0, earning its second championship in three years and running away with the NVL championship meet, with more than a half-dozen athletes earning gold medals. Meanwhile, the boys tennis team went 18-0 in the NVL, clinching the title with a 5-4 victory over Wolcott last Friday. It’s the second straight league title and undefeated NVL season for the tennis squad, which will look to gain individual medals this weekend in the singles and doubles tournaments. Kyle Beynor will be the favorite in the singles tournament, as he is undefeated in NVL singles play over the last three years. These two undefeated league championship teams joined the boys and girls indoor track teams and the boys soccer team as having posted undefeated league championship seasons this year.
Olympics trials and exhibitions will be getting underway in earnest soon, and if you’re a crazy Olympics fanatic like me, you’ll be watching the United States men’s water polo team face Hungary in an exhibition match Sunday afternoon on the NBC Sports Network. That’s all for this Team USA public service announcement.
My graduation from Quinnipiac was on Sunday, and I couldn’t have asked for a better day for it to happen. Sweating in a black gown — which my school proudly touted as being made from recycled plastic bottles — was a small price to pay for a gorgeous day. Noteworthy events from the day included our commencement speaker, Nancy Brinker of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, telling us that for her organization, “No means maybe,” which roused some giggles from my surrounding grads, and several members of the platform party (fancy educational lords) dressed like King Arthur’s court jesters. Seriously, though, thanks to everyone who’s lent kind words and congratulations.
The UFC really is a blast to watch if you’ve never immersed yourself in a card. UFC, or Ultimate Fighting Championships, is the premier mixed martial arts organization in the world. And if you don’t know what mixed martial arts are, it’s a combination of boxing, wrestling, kickboxing, judo, taekwondo, karate, ju-jitsu, and all sorts of other exciting violence. If you’re looking for an opportunity to get into it, one of the best pay-per-view cards I can remember is on Saturday night, almost exclusively featuring heavyweight fights on the main card. If you don’t want to pay, head to a local establishment or (I don’t condone this, but often participate in it) try to track down a shady stream online. You’ll enjoy it.
Word from the Woods
The Woodland girls lost in the NVL team tournament quarterfinals last Saturday, falling to St. Paul, 5-2. No. 4 singles player Lauren Tompkins earned an 8-3 win for the Hawks’ only singles victory, while the doubles team of Emily Rioux and Ayah Galal earned an 8-4 victory in Woodland’s only doubles win. Rachel Mariano, Julia Lawton, Salma Shitia, Liz Martin, Hope Gavigan, Olivia Harrison, and Jenica Bartlett also participated in the match. The Hawks will open state tournament play on Tuesday.
Losses in their final two games of the regular season kept Naugatuck out of the NVL tournaments. The Greyhounds were forced to forfeit a victory last Wednesday over Crosby due to use of an ineligible player before falling to Torrington, 6-2, in the regular season finale last Thursday. In that game, Naugy fell behind, 5-0, in the fifth inning and couldn’t rally. Ryan White started for the ‘Hounds before Chris Sheedy came in relief. Naugy recorded nine hits in the game but didn’t score until the seventh, when it scored both of its runs. The ‘Hounds will likely be on the road for their state tournament opener on Tuesday.
Naugy closed the regular season with a pair of victories over Crosby and Wilby over the last week, finishing the year on a five-match winning streak. Last Wednesday, the ‘Hounds shut out Crosby, 9-0, before earning a 6-3 win over Wilby on Monday. Mike Popescu and Tyler Posser each won two singles matches on the week while Yun Chau Chen, Yun Yue Chen, Jake Gingold, Nate Lindsly, Jake Burrell, Lain Burger, and Marcos Velasco all earned a victory. The Popescu-Burrell, Burger-Velasco, Posser-Kostka, and Yun Yue Chen-Lindsly teams all earned doubles victories. A number of Greyhounds were set to compete in the NVL singles and doubles tournaments, which began on Thursday at Woodland before opening state tournament play next week.
The Greyhounds earned a 6-1 victory over Kennedy in last Saturday’s NVL team tournament quarterfinals. Miranda Jang earned an 8-2 win at No. 1 singles, while Kaitlin Carter gained a shutout victory at No. 2 singles. Katie Bottinick also earned an 8-4 win at No. 4 singles before the team of Alexa Ramos and Lani Chucta clinched the match with an 8-5 win at No. 1 doubles. The Mikaela Santos-Kayla Gallant and Hannah Kim-Martina Niebryzdowski teams also earned doubles victories. Naugy lost to Watertown in Wednesday’s NVL semifinals. The ‘Hounds will open state tournament play on Tuesday.