Tennis pg 1 5-16-19

Tennis team
'ain't broke'
If it isn’t broken, don’t try and fix it.
That has been the philosophy that the Woodstock Academy boys’ tennis team has followed over the past couple of weeks.
The Centaurs have been able to keep a steady lineup with David Fleck at No. 1 singles followed by Riley Douglas, Matt Tiffany and Luigi Boselli.
“We’re happy with the consistency and we don’t want to mess it up,” said Woodstock Academy coach Ann Rathbone. “We’ve thrown a couple of things around, but why? We can’t complain about the results.”
The Centaurs did have a bit of a tough go against the two top teams in the ECC, E. Lyme (8-0) and Stonington (12-0), the previous week.
But the boys settled down against Killingly and Suffield early last week and then survived a shorthanded effort against Masuk May 11 to build a four-match win streak and raise their mark to 11-3.
The Centaurs rolled past the Redmen, 7-0, May 8.
Fleck and Tiffany both posted straight set, shutout victories while Douglas was a 6-1, 6-0 winner. Boselli had it the easiest of all as the Redmen failed to field a No. 4 singles player.
The Centaurs have not only kept the lineup consistent in singles, they have also done so in doubles play and it continues to pay off.
Aidan Stewart and Stefan Chervenkova posted a 6-0, 6-2 victory in No. 1 doubles against the Redmen.
Jai Abrams again teamed with Connor Quinn at No. 2 doubles and rolled to a straight set win as well.
Killingly, battling through a winless season, also failed to field a No. 3 doubles team giving Joe Zhou and Evan Haskins a win by forfeit.
The Centaurs thought Suffield, a member of the North Central Connecticut Conference, might pose a larger threat.
The Centaurs breezed to a 6-1 victory.
“Suffield was a little less tough than we expected,” Rathbone said. “Ellington (another NCCC member) was a good test for us and we need those. We would like to play them twice next year.”
Fleck was the only one who ran into difficulty.
The Centaurs’ junior won the first set, 6-3, but it was all downhill from there.
“Sometimes, you run into that in tennis,” Rathbone said. “You suffer a little letdown after the first set and the opponent starts to play better. David thought he should have won that match.”
Instead, Suffield’s Stephen Sattan rallied and captured the 7-5 victory in the second set. Sattan followed with a 7-6 victory in the rubber game, and won the tiebreaker, 7-4, to put the Centaurs behind briefly.
Woodstock Academy rallied when Douglas, Tiffany and Boselli all posted straight set victories. The numbers two and three doubles teams also posted straight-set victories.
Chervenkova and Stewart had a bit of a challenge at No. 1 doubles but survived to post a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 win.
Rathbone was concerned about going into the match with Masuk.
Masuk is coached by Steve O’Connell who was recently named the New England Pro of the Year.
Woodstock Academy also had another problem May 11. Only nine players were available to make the trek to Monroe.
That meant the Centaurs had to forfeit the No. 4 singles match.
They overcame the early deficit and posted a 4-3 win. Tiffany posted the decisive victory at No. 3 singles with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Karma Vijay.
It was the second singles victory of the match for Woodstock Academy which saw Fleck win at No. 1 singles, over Rohit Surehanand, 6-2, 6-0.
The Centaurs also took two out of the three doubles matches in the victory.
“It was nice to have an easier week. The guys are feeling good about themselves and now, we try to get the split with Stonington,” Rathbone said.
Woodstock Academy concludes the regular season this week with winnable matches against Fitch, New London and Norwich Free Academy before a rematch with Stonington.
The match with the Bears will be played at Killingly High School and will be paired with the girls’ match between the two schools. Those matches get underway at 11 a.m. May 18 at Killingly High School.
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
The Woodstock Academy


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