Spring sports previews: girls tennis

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Naugatuck
2021 results: 11-4 regular season
Graduates: Ashley Antunes, Diana Rebelo, Hope Pecor, Allyson LaBarre, Kasia Deptula, Rebecca Carney, Danna Dominguez and Llaine Alicea.
Seniors: Shravani Daptardar, Mia Grella, Tiffany Nyugen, Alena Rotatori, Zoe McCasland, Emily Meyer, Jade Dilone Rodriguez.
Season opener: at Wolcott, April 2 at 11 a.m.

Naugatuck struggled to an 0-4 start before turning the tables and reeling off 11 straight wins to finish the regular season strong. The Greyhounds were the No. 4 seed in the NVL tournament and knocked off Seymour to advance to the semifinals. The Greyhounds lost a tough one to Watertown, 4-3, in that semifinal matchup.
The Greyhounds will also have some promising underclassman, Josephine Burke, Cassandra Cozzi, Mel Gonzalez, Amy Morrissey, Camryn Smith and Ava DeFilippo who may be ready to step up and compete this season.
“The challenge this year may be filling the spots vacated by our graduating players,” said coach Jose Sendra. “This may be a rebuilding year for us after losing six starters.”

Woodland
2021 record: 9-6 regular season
2021 postseason: No. 7 seed, lost to No. 2 Holy Cross, 4-3. Opted out of state tournament due to a scheduling conflict.
Graduates: Samantha Erickson, Autym Dahlman, Kayleigh Huk and Olivia Vallejo.
Seniors: co-captains, Brooke Reilly and Meghan Ruhl
Season opener: vs. Holy Cross, April 2 at 10 a.m.

The Hawks came into last season with 8 out of 10 players with no prior experience but head coach Jessica DeGennaro got them to believe in themselves and knocked out 9 victories.
With only two seniors to lad the way it would appear that Woodland will be in a similar situation this season but don’t count out the Hawks just yet. Coach Jessica DeGennaro just might coax another 9 or 10 victories out of this team.
Junior Audrey Fencil will be at No. 1 singles and a pair of sophomores Bella Mastropietro and Yasmeen Galal took on big roles last year and are poised for an even bigger role this season. Once junior Cori Patchkofsky is back from a slight injury, the doubles teams will be even more secure.
“We had the largest turnout in quite some time,” said DeGennaro. “We had over 20 girls come out with 9 freshman. I might even have to make some cuts as we don’t have the court space or an assistant to help with the development. But I’m excited about the enthusiasm and I think we can be just as productive as last year.”
– Ken Morse