2019 boys tennis season preview
Posted by Marc Allard, Sports Information Director on 4/27/2019
2019 Preview: More depth could mean better results
Two of the singles spots on the Woodstock Academy boys tennis team are taken this season.
The rest is up for grabs.
Junior David Fleck argues that, actually, everything is up for grabs.
“It’s tough because we definitely have more competition this year (from within) than last year,” Fleck, the returning No. 1 player, said. “I feel like everybody knows how to play so we will see how it turns out.”
For that reason, while the spots on the team remain largely unsettled, coach Ann Rathbone still has high hopes for the team.
“I think we can improve on our record and we should do well in (Division II of the Eastern Connecticut Conference),” Rathbone said.
Woodstock Academy did lose its No. 2 singles player, Fabian Meiser, to graduation. He is now playing at Manhattanville College.
Meiser posted a 10-8 record individually last season.
“It was very tough to lose him because he was the leader of the team,” Fleck said. “We have to come up with a couple of new leaders this year and fill that in.”
Fleck, who posted a 9-9 record playing at No. 1, said his game has to improve in an area that you will not find on a stat sheet anywhere.
“Mental toughness,” Fleck said. “That’s the most important thing for me. Being a singles player, you have to believe in yourself, and be confident out there. I lacked that last year.”
In addition to Fleck, sophomore Riley Douglas (11-6) also returns to the Centaurs who finished 10-9 as a team last year.
The battles will be waged after that.
“The turnout has been better and so is the depth,” Rathbone, who is in her third year at the helm of the boys’ team, said. “We have more players who know how to play the game and a lot of them have been working on their game in the offseason.”
Seniors Matt Tiffany and Aidan Stewart and sophomores Stefan Chervenkova and Connor Quinn all have a chance to break into the singles ranks.
“I think it’s fun to play singles because everything is on yourself. You can’t really blame anything on anyone else, it’s a good learning experience,” Fleck said.
Senior Luigi Boselli is a newcomer who will likely see time at doubles while freshmen Evan Haskins and Jai Abrams will add depth.
Unlike the girls tennis team, which was elevated to Division I, the boys will remain in ECC Division II. The Centaurs are joined by Stonington, Waterford and Bacon Academy in that division.
“I wouldn’t put it past us,” Fleck said of possibly winning the Division II title. “We are definitely a team to be watched this year.”
In addition to its ECC opponents, the Centaurs will play non-league games against Ellington, Masuk and Suffield.
“I don’t know if the schedule will be as difficult as last year’s, but last year’s schedule helped prepare us for this year,” Rathbone said.