BY KEN MORSE
If you thought that clipboards and the x’s and o’s of the game are relegated to just football, baseball and basketball, you would be mistaken. Woodland girls tennis coach Jess DeGennaro has been going over the technical aspects of the game with her young group of players, and the results are showing up in the win column.
“Usually with a young team I like to practice as a team to get them all acclimated with one another,” said DeGennaro, “but even though we are young, we have some of those players that are really developing their game. So I’m working into the practice time some one-on-one technical aspects to help them get even better.”
The Hawks are quickly becoming the team that no one wants to face because of their nothing to lose attitude.
The Hawks (6-3) earned a 4-3 win over Naugatuck on April 22. Brooke Reilly (8-0) and Yaseem Galal (8-3) had wins in singles play to tie the match at 2-2.
After Meghan Ruhl and Rylie Montini had a tough setback in No. 1 doubles, dropping a 9-8 tiebreaker, the Hawks took care of business. Laura DeGennaro and Cate Fazzone took an 8-5 decision at No. 2 doubles while Cori Patchkofsky teamed up with Abigail Raffone to score an 8-0 win to secure victory for the Hawks.
“It was good to finally get Cori (Patchkofsky) back,” said DeGennaro. “That was her first match back after being out all season with an injury. I’m still moving some players around in doubles but I’m going to team up Cori with Laura (DeGennaro) at No. 2 doubles.”
Woodland made it three wins in a row by taking a 5-2 decision over Seymour on April 25. After Bella Mastropietro dropped a tough match at No. 1 singles, the Hawks claimed the next three singles matches.
Audrey Fencil (8-3), Reilly (8-0) and Galal (8-0) gave the Hawks a commanding 3-1 advantage heading into doubles play. Ruhl and Montini combined for an 8-5 win with DeGennaro and Vivien Mogyoros taking an 8-3 match at No. 3 doubles.
“I like what I’m seeing as far as the development of the team,” said DeGennaro. “We have a good chance of finishing up well and getting one of the top four or five spots in the NVL team tournament.
“We have to stay focused and finish strong. There are a few tough ones still out there to play so we need to come ready to compete in every match.”
Next week, Woodland is scheduled to play Kennedy on Monday and Ansonia on Thursday.
BY KEN MORSE