Season comes to close for boys tennis
The season for the Woodstock Academy boys tennis team has come to a close.
The Centaurs battled in the Class M state tournament on Friday in Bristol and had some first round success only to see their state tournament hopes end by the second round.
In singles play, junior David Fleck downed Andrew Saball of Sheehan in a first-round match, 6-2, 6-2.
It sent him into the second round against eighth-seeded Yefim Gorodnitskiy of Avon High School.
Gorodnitskiy prevailed in straight sets, 6-1, 6-2, knocking Fleck from the state competition.
Riley Douglas won his first round match by default over Bethel’s Spencer Brown but was downed in the second round by third-seeded Nick Brennan of Tolland, 3-6, 0-6.
Luigi Boselli had to play an opening round match and advanced with an 8-2 win over Lyman Hall’s Colin DeBaise but Boselli was felled in the first round by Avon’s Arjun Chandra-Mohanty, the tournament’s second seed, 0-6, 0-6.
Matt Tiffany lost his opening round match.
On the doubles side, The Centaurs top team of Stefan Chervenkova and Aidan Stewart were seeded No. 14.
The duo won their first-round battle handily against a pair from Wolcott, Kenneth Hayes and Michael DosSantos, 6-0, 6-1.
The second round match was hardly that easy.
Brookfield’s Jacob Kelly and Marcus Lavery posted a 3-6, 0-6 win over the Centaurs duo.
Jai Abrams and Connor Quinn fought hard in their first-round match, taking Derek Diehl and Jared Lazarus of New Fairfield to tiebreakers in both sets, only to fall short, 7-6 (5) and 7-6 (3).
The third doubles team for Woodstock Academy, Evan Haskins and Joe Zhou, lost their first-round match, 6-3, 7-5 to a pair from East Haven.
Things were a little better in the Eastern Connecticut Conference tournament earlier in the week as both Fleck and the Chervenkova-Stewart doubles team advanced to the final four in each bracket.
But neither could get past some tough semifinal matches.
Fleck was seeded fourth and downed Waterford’s Kevin McEntarfer, 8-1, in the first round.
The Centaurs second singles player, Douglas, also made it through the first round with a win over Lyman Memorial’s Ian Drum.
The other two Centaurs’ singles players were not so lucky.
Boselli, the Centaurs No. 4, fell to the sixth seed from East Lyme, Eric Gu, 1-8, and Jake Stiger from Ledyard took out Woodstock Academy’s third singles player, Tiffany, by that same score.
Fleck continued with a second-round victory over Fitch’s Max Cartier, 8-1.
But the end of the road came for Douglas who was downed by the eighth seed from Stonington, Sean Bessette, 1-8.
Fleck moved on to the quarterfinals where he downed Fadi Hage from Waterford, 6-3, 6-4.
But Fleck was knocked off in the semifinals by top-seeded Finn Power, 0-6, 2-6.
“Pretty much every game went to deuce,” said Woodstock Academy assistant tennis coach Siana Green. “(Fleck) played very well. There were a lot of close points. It will be exciting to see how David does against him next year.”
Stewart and Chervenkova, seeded seventh, received a first-round bye in doubles play.
The Centaurs second doubles team of Quinn and Abrams had a first-round match and rolled past New London's Sebastien Jn'Michel and Emmanuel Marin, 8-6.
Unfortunately, it meant they had to play Stewart and Chervenkova in a quarterfinal match.
Stewart and Chervenkova posted the 6-1, 6-1 victory.
But it meant a showdown with Stonington’s top doubles team and the Centaurs fell, 0-6, 1-6.
The third doubles team of Haskins and Zhou won their first match against Ledyard's duo of Reese Yaras and Damion DePaul, 8-1, but lost to Stonington's Quinn Hamilton and Flip Aubrecht, 2-6, 4-6.
Fleck and the first doubles team of Chervenkova and Stewart were both named ECC first team All-Stars.
Douglas received honorable mention honors.
Stewart was also the team’s ECC Scholar-Athlete recipient while the ECC sportsmanship award went to Boselli.
Centaurs finish off regular season
Storm clouds were gathering to the north but the Centaurs made sure the match didn't last long enough where weather was going to be an issue.
Woodstock Academy blanked Norwich Free Academy, 7-0, Monday at Norwich Tech.
The Centaurs finished with a 14-4 regular season record.
"It's very humbling and rewarding to finish with only four losses in 18 matches this season," said coach Siana Green. "It makes me excited to see what we can accomplsih next year."
The Centaurs will lose two of their singles players, Matt Tiffany and Luigi Boselli, to graduation but Green feels Aidan Stewart and Joe Zhou are ready to step into their shoes.
"If we can get one good freshman next year, we will be golden," Green said.
Top singles players David Fleck and Riley Douglas sat out the match to allow Tiffany and Boselli to play the top singles players from NFA.
Tiffany won by forfeit after his opponent had to leave the match due to heat exhaustion.
Boselli won his match 6-0, 6-2.
Stewart and Stefan Chervenkova both stepped from doubles into singles and won their matches.
NFA forfeited the last two doubles matches.
Fleck and the first doubles team of Chervenkova and Stewart were named first team Eastern Connecticut Conference All-Stars recently.
Douglas is an honorable mention ECC All-Star.
Stewart was the ECC Scholar-Athlete for the team and Boselli received the ECC sportsmanship award.
Week 7 review: Centaurs fall to Bears
The Woodstock Academy boys tennis team had a chance to earn a share of the Eastern Connecticut Conference Division II regular season title.
Unfortunately, Stonington stood in its way.
And the Bears have the Centaurs number.
“They were the team we were shooting to beat this year,” assistant tennis coach Siana Green said.
It was a hurdle that Woodstock Academy just could not clear.
They handed the Centaurs a 5-2 loss at the Pomfret School courts Saturday and took the Division II title back to Stonington with them.
“It’s just trying to be more consistent,” Green said. “Talent-wise, we hit the ball as hard as they do. Every game was neck-and-neck this time, it was just who finished the point.”
More often than not, it was Stonington who accomplished that.
But there were positive signs for Woodstock Academy.
“It was so much better than when we played them a few weeks ago. We got pretty smoked down there, in regards to how the games went. In this case, we had a couple of three-set matches,” Green said.
The Centaurs did give the Bears some cause for concern,
David Fleck, the top singles player for the Centaurs, won his first set with Jake Stiger, 7-6 (7-4). Luigi Boselli came up with a 6-4 victory at No. 4 singles over Nathan Gonzalez.
There were also wins on the doubles side with the second doubles team of Jai Abrams and Connor Quinn picking up a 7-5 victory.
Evan Haskins and Joe Zhou also won their first set, 6-1.
Had it stayed that way, Woodstock Academy would have prevailed, 4-3.
“The tables turned in the second set,” Green said.
Boselli managed to win again, 6-2, to take the win at No. 4 singles on Senior Day.
“It was so great,” Green said. “The last time these two played, they had about a two-hour match and Luigi lost 4-6, 4-6. This time, to turn it around, his smile was contagious afterwards.”
The third doubles team of Haskins and Zhou also finished off their competition with a 6-1 victory.
“Every time I looked down to them, they were always up. I knew I didn’t have to worry about them,” Green said.
But the rest of the matches didn’t go Woodstock Academy’s way.
Fleck ended up losing in three sets as did Abrams and Quinn.
The Centaurs finish the regular season on Monday with a match against Norwich Free Academy at Norwich Tech.
They go into that match with a 13-4 record.
“That’s a huge improvement from last year,” Green said.
The Centaurs finished 10-9 last year and 7-9 in 2017.
“We are a team that people were finally worried about,” Green said.
Due to the spate of recent weather woes, the Centaurs played only two other matches last week and they were both in the same day..
The Centaurs downed New London and Fitch by the same 6-1 score last Wednesday and built a six-match win streak which was ended by the Bears on Saturday.
The nightcap with the Falcons was not easy.
All of the matches were rather lengthy including Fleck's 4-6, 6-2, 6-1 win at No. 1 singles over Max Cartier.
Riley Douglas was stretched at second singles to beat Aidan Sullivan, 7-6, 6-2.
Doubles weren't much better.
The second doubles team of Abrams and Quinn had to go to tiebreaker to post a 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 win.
Douglas had a trying day all around.
He also battled the New London’s Wesly Paulo in the first match of the day, managed to pull out a 6-2, 4-6, (10-8) win and sent the Centaurs on to the battle with Fitch.