Spring sports previews: boys tennis

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Woodland
2021 record: 9-4 regular season
Postseason: NVL tournament – No. 3 seed NVL, defeated Torrington, 5-0, in NVL quarterfinals; defeated Wolcott, 3-2, in semifinals; lost to Watertown, 3-2, in the final.
Graduates: Austin Roberts
Seniors: Tyler Macdowall (co-capt., All-NVL, NVL doubles champion), Andy Hopkinson (co-capt., All-NVL, NVL doubles champoin), Diego Sargent and Aiden Kennedy
Season opener: at Kennedy, April 2 at 11 a.m.

The Hawks surprised quite a few teams last year under first-year coach Ryan McEvoy. They won’t be sneaking up on anyone this year as they also return All-NVL juniors Nick Bshara and Brian O’Connell. Junior Kayo Niebrzydowski also gives the Hawks another solid player in the lineup.
“This year we are expecting to reach the NVL finals again,” said McEvoy. “We also want to make the state tournament again.
“With so many returning players with experience we are in a strong place to win.”

Naugatuck
2021 record: 5-8 regular season
Postseason: NVL tournament – No. 4 seed, defeated Holy Cross, 3-2; lost to Watertown, 5-0, in the semifinals.
Graduates: Justin Barth, Fernando Moreno and Aaron Santos.
Seniors: Julio Perez and Alex Felix
Season opener: vs. Wolcott, April 2 at 3:30 p.m.

The Greyhounds are always a tough out with coach Brett Hayward at the helm.
Perez will be the number one singles and Felix a four year member will contribute in doubles.
Naugy has some depth along with talent relying on juniors Aidan Lau, William Zheng and Brain Barth to go along with sophomore Ethan Campana. Two newcomers, Brandon Miranda and Manase Mutshima, are both juniors and should be competitive.
“Our motto is the same as in past years,” said Hayward. “Show up, work hard, and good things will happen. Nothing is given and everything is earned, in life and in sports. You must work hard for everything that comes your way.
“After two difficult seasons dealing with COVID, we know that we must give our all, every opportunity we get, because you never know if it will be taken away.
“Naugatuck will give their best shot every time they step out on the court. That is a given. Our goal is to compete and hopefully hit out stride come tournament time.”
– Ken Morse