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Newtown High School’s boys’ tennis team finished the regular season with an impressive 12-1 mark. The Nighthawks will begin the postseason in South-West Conference tournament play on Monday, May 15.
“It’s been a great season for the guys. They have had some high points and they have experienced some low points. But it’s not always candy canes and gum drops on the tennis court. Tennis is about physical and mental fortitude. It’s about putting your nose to the grindstone and getting the job done. Everyone on the team has been in a position where they have had to dig themselves out of a tough spot to come on top for the team,” Newtown Coach Mike Stedronsky said.
A recent example of this is captain Joey Conrod coming from behind to help Newtown edge Joel Barlow of Redding 4-3, on May 9, for the second time this spring. Conrod was down two games in the final set to his No. 1 singles counterpart, Noah Sobel, but prevailed 7-5, 3-6, 6-2.
“Joey stood his ground, executed some solid strategy, and walked off the court with a W for himself and the team. It was a tremendous show of mental tenacity, the drive to succeed, and how to dominate an opponent when you need to. It’s playing like Joey did in the match against Barlow that has brought the team the success we have seen. I try to remind them as often as I can that they can run or fight. This is a tremendous group of fighters. On top of that, we play for something much bigger than ourselves: We play for Newtown,” Stedronsky said.
Other winners against Barlow were the second through fourth singles players, Constantine Vogiatzis, Francesco Pelliccia, and Jackson Dooley, all of whom won in two sets.
Newtown beat Bethel 6-1 on May 3. All four singles players and the top doubles tandem of Grant Larson and Matt Frazzetta and the No. 2 duo of Jordan Klein and Ben Futterman all came out on top.
The Nighthawks earned a 5-2 victory over Masuk of Monroe on May 4. Winners were Vogiatzis, Pelliccia, and Dooley, along with top doubles players Larson and Frazzetta, and the No. 3 doubles team of Nihar Soman and Luke Sposato.
Everybody in the Hawk lineup was a winner in 7-0 triumphs over New Fairfield and Masuk of Monroe on May 8 and 11, respectively.
The girls defeated Bethel 4-3 on May 3 and New Fairfield 5-2 on May 8, and fell 4-3 to Barlow on May 9. The Hawks closed out the regular slate with a 6-1 victory over Masuk on May 11.
Against Bethel, top singles player Marie Ann Tomaj, and the three doubles teams — Emily McCoy and Tessa Leon-Gambetta, Sophie Wolfman and Julia Anderson, and Simran Chand and Julia Klein — all won.
In the New Fairfield match, Tomaj and the rest of the singles lineup won as Amanda Conrod, Megan Cooney, and Rachel Goldman earned victories. The second doubles team of Anderson and Klein also came out on top.
With the win over Masuk, the girls finish at 8-5 overall and 8-3 in the SWC.