Thursday, May 11, 2017

Wolcott boys tennis finishes off perfect regular season

Wolcott boys head tennis coach Steve Jasulavic talks to his team after it finished the regular season undefeated on Thursday.
In the regular season, Wolcott boys tennis was the team to beat.
Unfortunately for the other teams in the Naugatuck Valley League, no one could beat the Eagles. Torrington tried twice, and came up short both times, albeit improving from matchup to matchup.
Wolcott finished off a 16-0 regular season Thursday afternoon with an 8-1 win over Torrington. These two teams are likely to meet again in next week's NVL team tournament championship. The Red Raiders, after all, finished 14-2 with both losses coming to the Eagles.
"Be proud of what you have accomplished," Wolcott head coach Steve Jasulavic said. "It was a great regular season."
The Eagles beat the Raiders 7-2 last Thursday at Torrington. Torrington played better this time around, but Wolcott was still able to post a win.
Matt Mastropietro and Matt Spina, left, watch Mastropietro's return
during their No. 1 doubles match.
The Eagles got off to a quick start with Alex Hale's 8-0 victory at No. 3 singles over Billy Weber. Matt Spina followed suit with a tough 8-6 win over Scott Dixon in a battle of No. 1s. In a matchup of players with plenty of length and reach, Matt Mastropietro was able to gain control of his No. 2 singles match and down Kevin Dixon 8-4.
Three singles matches done, three wins for Wolcott. That's a feeling opponents have known all too well this season,
"That's been our trend this year," Jasulavic said. "Our 1, 2 and 3 are undefeated, and our No. 4 was until today."
That's where Torrington picked up its lone win as Ryan Nader edged out Jackson Yost 9-7. It took until the final day of the regular season for a Wolcott 1-4 singles player to lose. Think about that for a second.
Jasulavic relies on four seniors in the starting lineup, and all four won on Thursday.
"I'm not worried about them when it gets tight," Jasulavic said.
Mike Perreault serves as Raheel Chowdhury covers the net
during their No. 3 double match.
The door to a Torrington comeback was slammed shut by two more Wolcott seniors, Mike Perreault and Raheel Chowdhury. Perreault got past Will Elmendorf 8-6 at No. 5 singles, then Chowdhury clinched the team match at No. 6 singles with an 8-5 win over Brett Stater.
Wolcott also won all three doubles matches. Hale and Yost were in first with an 8-1 win at No. 2 over Weber and Nader. Spina and Mastropietro battled their way to an 8-5 victory over the Dixon brothers at No. 1.
In the final match completed Thursday, Perreault and Chowdhury worked hard together to tough out a 9-7 win over Elmendorf and Stater.
Mastropietro was aware of how good Wolcott could be.
"Coming into the year, we knew it was pretty much going to be us and Torrington," Mastropietro said.
Playing Torrington twice wasn't a bad thing.
"It helps us get better," Mastropietro said.
Wolcott finished 16-0 in the regular season, but Jasulavic won't allow the Eagles to become complacent. After all, you don't win three straight NVL team tournament titles by assuming victory is a foregone conclusion.
"The scores indicate that [Torrington was] more competitive today," Jasulavic said.
Jasulavic asked each player to bring two things to Friday's practice that will create improvements. The NVL team tournament begins Monday or Tuesday, with a possible third matchup looming against Torrington on Friday in the final.
"We'll just work on what we need to, to prepare ourselves," Mastropietro said.
Jasulavic wanted the Eagles to be proud of what they accomplished regular season. Monday or Tuesday begins what he termed "trophy season", where it's win or go home.

PHOTOS: Click here for images from Thursday's Wolcott victory.

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