Newtown High School’s girls’ and boys’ tennis teams both picked up victories this past week, with the squads defeating Bethel and Brookfield, and falling to Weston.
Maureen Maher, coach of the girls, has been pleased with her new-look team this spring. The two-time South-West Conference champions lost eight players between graduation, moves out of town, and players not returning, but that hasn’t prevented success. The Nighthawks won five of their first seven matches before a hard-fought 4-3 setback to Weston on April 28.
“We are doing remarkably well,” Maher said. “We’re getting stronger every time. Every match, we’re getting stronger.”
The coach has shuffled some of the players around to find the best doubles combinations, working with roster changes due to school vacation and class trips. Sarah Lynch, a standout soccer and basketball player, joined the team this spring and has added depth. “She brings intensity. She’s a great team person,” Maher said.
Newtown is aiming for a spot in the four-team SWC playoffs, potentially to include tough teams Weston and Joel Barlow of Redding, and Maher knows it will be tough to get it. That said, the expectation to win, despite two straight years at the top, is not as high this go around.
“It’s a whole different feeling this year. I think it’s a lot less pressure so they’re having fun, but they’re working hard,” Maher said.
In a 5-2 win over visiting Bethel on April 23, Newtown got singles victories by Lauren Beier (6-2, 6-0), Annie Beier, who played doubles last year, (6-3, 7-6), and Mia Terracino (6-0, 6-1). The top doubles team of Julia Frattaroli and Aimee Alexander won 6-1, 6-0, and the third doubles tandem of Alisha Aggarwal and Emily McCoy earned a 6-0, 6-1 victory.
The girls went to Brookfield the next day and earned their fourth straight win in a 6-1 triumph. Lauren Beier won 6-1, 6-2, Terracino came out on top, 6-1, 6-3, and Annie Beier won 6-1, 6-2. In doubles play, Frattaroli and Aggarwal joined forces and won 6-2, 6-2, Lily Mittleman and Emily McCoy won 6-0, 6-3, and Sarah Lynch and Astrid Sundberg came away with a 6-4, 6-0 triumph.
Weston, which beat NHS 5-2 in the season opener, pulled out a 4-3 win in a rematch, at Newtown High, on April 28. Terracino and Annie Beier both earned singles wins by identical scores of 6-3, 6-2, and the doubles team of Frattaroli and Alexander came out on top. The duo led 5-2 in the first set when injury caused the Weston tandem to forfeit that match. The third doubles team of Lynch and Carolyn Lockwood dropped a hard-fought three-set match.
Newtown’s boys’ squad carried a 5-2 record into the Month of May. The Hawks had won five straight before Joel Barlow joined Weston as the only schools to defeat the Hawks.
In a 7-0 triumph over Bethel on April 23, Keaton McCleary earned a 6-0, 6-4 win, Nic Klein and Matt Carino both cruised 6-0, 6-1, and Peter Winans pulled out a 6-2, 6-4 victory. The doubles team of Kunal Marwah and Joey Conrod won 7-6 (5), 6-1, Michael Dutsar and James Frazzetta earned a 6-3, 6-1 victory, and Justin Oelberg and Matt Frazzetta won 6-1, 6-4.
Against Brookfield, in a 5-2 win, McCleary came out on top, 6-4, 7-5, Klein worked for a 7-5, 7-5 victory, and Conrod and Winans both won 6-0, 6-1. Marwah and Dutsar battled back from a first set loss but ultimately fell in three, 2-6, 6-2, 4-6. James Frazzetta and Oelberg earned a 6-2, 6-2 win.
In a 5-2 loss to Weston, McCleary pushed his opponent to a third set but lost 0-6, 6-4, 1-6, Carino won 6-4, 6-3, and the doubles team of Dutsar and James Frazzetta pulled out a 6-4, 5-7, 6-4 victory.