WRHS girls’ tennis falls, girls eye State Open

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BEACON FALLS — The Woodland girls’ tennis team’s season ended in the Class S tournament on Tuesday evening.

Lewis Mills captured the final match of the day and defeated Woodland, 4-3, in the first round of the state tournament. Woodland, the No. 3 seed, finished the season with a 16-1 record and a Naugatuck Valley League title.

Earlier in the day, 14th-seeded Lewis Mills defeated Holy Cross, 4-2, in the qualifying round.

“Lewis Mills finished 14-2 in their league,” Woodland head coach Mike Magas said.  “I felt good about our top seeds, but I knew every other match would be tough.”

Magas was right.

Steph Badale, the Hawks’ top singles player, cruised to a straight-set victory over Kristen Van Gilst. Badale, who admitted she struggled in the NVL singles tournament, won 6-2 and 6-0 over Van Gilst.

Badale was able to rebound after her NVL performance.

“Everything was on today,” said Badale, a senior. “My forehand was good, my backhand was good, and I tried to mix it up with drop shots and slices.”

She later added, “It felt good to have confidence in my shots again.”

Hawks No. 2-seed Meg Wester also won her match against Leah Storti, beating her 6-3 and 6-1.

Lauren Tremeglio and Brooke Dragon dropped their singles matches.

On the doubles side, Hawks No. 1-seed combo of Sam Angeloszek and Jill Pagani won in straight sets (7-6 and 6-2) over Nicole Storti and Kelsey Thompson. Angeloszek and Pagani finished team competition this season with one loss.

Pagani said she felt her serve was good, while Angeloszek made few unforced errors.

“I thought that was the best they played all season,” Magas said of his doubles team.

Avery Gartman and Angela Vallillo, Woodland’s No. 2 doubles team, lost to Dana Gabrielson and Olivia Mauro (6-4 and 6-2).

During the No. 3 doubles match, Lewis Mills’ Ali and Niki Aldieri didn’t give up a game to Dayna Chucta and Nicole Nelson.

Despite the team’s loss, several Woodland players will be competing this Saturday at the state open individual tournament at Yale University.  Badale and Wester will be in the singles bracket, while Angeloszek and Pagani will be paired on the doubles side.

As the team’s season concluded, Magas said he was very pleased with the players, most of whom will be returning next season. The Hawks will lose only three of its 21 players to graduation.

Magas said he was happy just to have captured the NVL crown this year.

“For us to win the NVLs this year was phenomenal,” Magas said. “It was a tremendous thrill for us.”