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Newtown High School’s girls’ and boys’ tennis teams took on Joel Barlow of Redding on April 17. The boys went on the road and came away with a hard-fought 4-3 win and the girls fell 6-1 to the visiting Falcons. The girls hosted Weston the next day and fell 4-3.
After the Barlow boys came out on top in all three doubles matchups, the Nighthawks won all four singles matches to secure the team victory.
Top singles player Joey Conrod won the first set 6-2 and led 4-2 in the second set before his competitor withdrew with an injury. Jackson Dooley, at third singles, came on strong with a solid 6-4, 6-2 victory to pull the Nighthawks to within a match as a team. At No. 2 singles Francesco Pelliccia came back from a set down to defeat his opponent with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 triumph.
With the line score tied 3-3 it came down to an epic battle at third singles for Constantine Vogiatzis, who lost the first set but prevailed 5-7, 6-2, 6-1. After finding his stride in the second set, and with the support of teammates surrounding the court, Vogiatzis brought on a tremendous wave of solid ground strokes and net finishes to clinch the victory for the team.
“We walked out with a win today because the team, in the face of overwhelming adversity, held their ground and battled it out until the very end. I’m proud of my boys everyday, but especially today. They conducted themselves as gentlemen and as true competitors. All I ask is for 110 percent and they have yet to let me down. It’s a good day for NHS boys tennis,” Newtown Coach Mike Stedronsky said.
In girls’ action, the third doubles tandem of Hayley Lambert and Julia Klein won its match against Barlow 6-3, 7-5. The top singles pairing of Emily McCoy and Tessa Leon-Gambetta took their opponents to a third set before falling 6-4, 2-6, 2-6. Second singles player Amanda Conrod took her opponent to a third set and fell 7-6, 1-6, 1-6.
Against Weston, No. 2 singles player Megan Cooney, the top doubles tandem of McCoy and Leon-Gambetta, and No. 3 pairing of Lambert and Klein all came out on top.