The defending South-West Conference champion Newtown High School girls’ tennis team enters into the 2013 campaign as the team to beat — and not just because the Nighthawks carry SWC bragging rights into this spring. None of the Newtown players graduated from last year’s squad, giving Coach Maureen Mahr a boatload of experience and talent throughout the singles and doubles positions.
The team did lose a trio of players who didn’t return to the program, but it also gained some impressive newcomers, Mahr notes.
“The talent I have this year is unbelievable,” Mahr said. “We would love to win SWCs again and hopefully get to the finals of states.”
Last year, NHS got to the semifinals of the Class L state championships before falling 4-3 to Greenwich.
This year’s captains are singles player Lauren Frazzetta and doubles player Grace Winans, the latter of whom is returnee/addition to the lineup. Winans isn’t new to the program but missed last season because of Lyme disease.
Caroline Kelly returns as the No. 1 singles player, and newcomer Lauren Beier, a freshman, steps into the No. 2 slot to begin the campaign. Mia Terracino is back in the singles rotation.
Last year’s top doubles tandem of Julia Frattaroli and Stephanie Roman returns to that position at least to begin the year. Mahr and Assistant Coach Diane Frazzetta may alter the lineup as players compete for positioning within the singles and doubles ladders.
Annie Beier, Rachel Durno, Meghan Logan, Maggie Kost, and Aimee Alexander are among others in the lineup.
Mahr notes that other teams may have improved, and time will tell, but she anticipates hers to be among the best, along with Joel Barlow of Redding, Weston, and Lauralton Hall of Milford — the usual suspects in the SWC.
Newtown began the season with three straight wins this past week, including a seemingly convincing 6-1 victory over Barlow, but Mahr noted that players were absent from both teams and chilly, windy conditions hampered the match. Mahr expects Barlow to come back stronger when the rivals meet again on May 1.