Woodland boys tennis not backing down from anyone

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BY KEN MORSE
CITIZEN’S NEWS
After finishing as NVL runner-up two years in a row and then winning the league championship last year and graduating the starting lineup, it’s safe to say that the expectations are not the same this season for the Woodland boys tennis team.
One thing has not changed for the Hawks, and that is the desire to play out every point to the very end and never quit. That attribute was on display during the first two weeks of the season.
Woodland started out with teams that have been near the top of the NVL, Holy Cross and Watertown, and both ended in losses by a 3-2 margin.
The Hawks kept battling and picked up a pair of wins over Wilby by 5-0 counts on April 8. The Wildcats, with only four players, forfeited all three singles sets in both matches.
In the doubles portion of the first match, James Nemec and Ayden Wilson won, 8-0, and the second doubles team of Spencer MacDowall and Luke Borajkiewicz won by an 8-0 margin.
In the second match, the duo of Carter Davis and Connor Cull took an 8-0 decision and the team of Tyler Patchkofsky and Tyler Gilbeau won, 8-0, to complete the sweep of the Wildcats.
Woodland senior captain and No. 1 singles player Carter Davis outlasted his opponent from Crosby in a three-hour marathon on April 10 in Beacon Falls.
“I don’t think we are feeling any pressure to measure up to expectations,” said Woodland head coach Chris Dutton. “They are just playing within themselves. They are a pretty even-keeled group and just going out there and playing their game.”
The Hawks made it three straight wins, sweeping past Crosby, 5-0, on April 10, and improved to 3-2 on the season. The highlight of the match and what personifies the Hawks’ game this season was the remarkable three-hour marathon that Carter Davis endured, winning the No. 1 singles match, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (17-15).
“We have a really good leader in our captain Carter Davis,” Sutton said. “Spencer MacDowall is another one of our returning experienced players and is doing quite well.”
MacDowall won at No. 2 singles, 6-1, 6-1, and at No. 3 singles, Nemec battled to pull out a 7-5, 6-1 victory.
 “I feel after two weeks of the season we are poised and ready to start hitting the ground running and begin to play with some success,” added Sutton. “The losses to Holy Cross and Watertown were very close and perhaps could have gone the other way. I think we can be with the teams at the top of the league.”
Woodland is showing some consistency with their doubles teams. The No. 1 doubles team of Wilson and Borajkiewicz won handily against Crosby, 6-0, 6-0. The No. 2 team of Connor Culll and Alex Donskoy also won, 6-0, 6-0, to complete the sweep of the Bulldogs.
The Hawks were scheduled to play at Crosby on Wednesday. They are slated to host Watertown on April 18 in a rematch.