They’re the champions once again. Newtown High School’s girls’ tennis team outlasted visiting Joel Barlow 4-0 in the South-West Conference championship match on May 20 for their second SWC title in as many years.
“It feels great. It feels unbelievable,” Newtown Coach Maureen Maher said. “They said last year they wanted to do it again and they put their minds to it. They worked hard offseason and they worked hard during season.”
Newtown, in fact, was unbeaten against conference foes, dropping only a 4-3 nail-biter to FCIAC opponent Fairfield Ludlowe.
The top-seeded Nighthawks may have blanked the No. 3 Falcons in an abbreviated pinnacle match, cut short once the Hawks got their fourth win among seven matches, but it took a resilient effort by the home team to ensure the victory.
Caroline Kelly, Newtown’s top singles player, battled past Paige Twombly for a 6-3, 6-4 win. No. 2 singles player Lauren Beier earned a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Ali Kudej. No. 4 player Mia Terracino had an easy 6-1, 6-0 triumph in her match, which sealed the victory.
Newtown got a win at first doubles as Stephanie Roman and Julia Frattaroli prevailed 6-2, 6-1 over Alyssa Lyon and Alyssa Gontzes. At the time Terracino wrapped up her match and clinched the Newtown victory, teammate and No. 3 singles player Lauren Frazzetta was involved in a nearly two-and-a-half hour long match with Jessica Levine. Frazzetta overcame a first-game 6-2 loss to win the second game by a 7-5 score and held a 5-0 advantage in the near close-out game.
In other action, second singles players Annie Beier and Aimee Alexander held a 5-3 first game lead, and the third doubles tandem of Grace Winans and Meghan Logan had a 6-0 win in the books and were in their second game when play stopped.
“Barlow came out playing better than they’ve every played. They played really well,” Maher said of the Falcons, who upset No. 2 Lauralton Hall of Milford in the semifinals of the four-team tourney.
“It feels good to pull it out,” Kelly said of her win. “I’m here for the team and that’s what matters.”
Kelly is only a sophomore but her stint at NHS is coming to an end because her family is moving to Georgia soon. “It feels good to go out on top,” said Kelly, adding that there is still work to be done. “I feel like our team has more to come.”
After the SWC individual tourney, scheduled for May 22 and 23 at Barlow, the Hawks will embark on a run at a state championship a year after being edged out in the semifinals.
“We have a great shot at winning states and that would be a great way to end it,” Kelly said.