It was a successful week for Newtown High School’s boys’ tennis team as the Nighthawks went on the road and toppled New Fairfield 5-2 on May 2 then bested host Pomperaug of Southbury and visiting Joel Barlow of Redding, both by 4-3 scores, May 5 and 6.
The win over Pomperaug, in the first of two meetings between the rivals this season, counts in the conference standings and gave Newtown an edge for first place in the South-West Conference’s Colonial Division. In the victory over Barlow, the Nighthawks avenged a season-opening 4-3 setback to the Falcons. The boys improved to 8-2 overall and 8-1 in conference play.
The girls’ squad carried a 6-5 overall record into the second week of May. The girls lost 6-1 to nonconference opponent Fairfield Ludlowe, at home, on May 3, then blanked visiting Pomperaug 7-0 on May 5 and fell 5-2 to host Barlow on May 6.
Brett Teolis, first-year coach of the boys, is thrilled with the way things have gone, and noted that strong support from the school and parents who attend matches had helped motivate the team.
“We’re doing well and the kids are great,” he said. “They’re open to constructive criticism — they’re open to getting better.”
And they’ve gotten better as the season has unfolded as evidenced by the turnaround versus Barlow. In the top singles position, Newtown’s Keaton McCleary lost a tough three-setter to Drew Levanti, 6-4, 3-6, 6-7. Newtown’s No. 2 singles player, Nic Klein, also lost, falling 0-6, 3-6 to Sam Ulffson. Newtown’s third and fourth singles players were victorious. At No. 3, Matt Carino overcame a first-set loss and beat Pax Meny 4-6, 6-1, 6-1, and Peter Winans defeated Thomas Carter 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.
“We’re deep in singles. The guys at the top of the lineup have had ups and downs,” Teolis said. “Those matches are always going to be a grind. It’s never going to be an easy match.”
Also in the Barlow match, Newtown’s top doubles tandem of Kunal Marwah and Joey Conrod went three sets but lost to Caner Shover and Nat Tomczak, 6-3, 2-6, 3-6. At second doubles, Michael Dutsar and James Frazzetta beat Dheuen Duenwald and Mark Lenhart, 6-2, 6-4. At third doubles, Charlie Poarch and Justin Oelberg beat Reid Escoff and Matt Lucido, 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.
In the win over Pomperaug, Klein earned a three-set win at second singles, and Carino won in two sets. In doubles play, the No. 2 tandem of Dutsar and Frazzetta won in two sets, and the No. 3 team of Poarch and Oelberg also won in two, pulling out a 7-6 (12-10) marathon before closing out their counterparts with 6-4 triumph in set two.
Against New Fairfield, Klein, Carino, and Joey Conrad picked up victories in singles play, and the tandems of Frazzetta/Dutsar and Poarch/Oelberg also won.
On the girls’ courts, Newtown’s lone win against Ludlowe belonged to the top doubles team of Julia Frattaroli and Aimee Alexander, a 6-2, 6-1 winner over Chelsea Keane and Lauren Hilliker.
In the win over Pomperaug, singles players Lauren Beier, Mia Terracino, Annie Beier, and Carolyn Lockwood all earned two-set wins. The top doubles team of Frattaroli/ Alexander, and the No. 2 tandem of Lily Mittleman and Simone Felis won in two sets. The third doubles team of Alisha Aggarwal and Sara Lynch pulled out a three-set match. Against Barlow, Newtown’s wins were earned by Lauren Beier and Frattaroli/Alexander.