Trojans win Class S
Dynasty on the courts: That's the best way to describe the Weston boys tennis team's dominance over the Class S landscape. Weston won its ninth straight Class S title with 27 points in a tournament which began on June 4 at Conard High School and ended last Thursday at Yale University, easily outdistancing East Catholic and Bolton, who were tied for second place with 15 points.
Weston rebounded after from its 4-3 loss to Newtown in the SWC finals on May 24, which ended its seven-year SWC reign.
"The best thing that happened to us was losing SWCs because [Trojans Coach] Gary [Meunier] made adjustments for States," Terranova said. "If we didn't lose SWCs, we might have brought a different lineup for States. We're happy with what happened."
Placing a doubles team and a singles player in the finals, helped Weston fulfill its destiny. The third-seeded doubles team of sophomore Cam Hagan and freshman David Freeman were the fourth straight Trojan duo to win the Class S doubles title.
"It's absolutely amazing," Hagan said. We played well the whole tournament and we were able to pull through."
Freeman said, "It was amazing and I'm speechless. I'm glad I was able to do it."
Hagan and Freeman clinched the doubles title with a 7-5, 7-6 (11-9) victory over ninth-seeded Conor Fallon and Morgan White of Old Lyme. Weston's duo came from behind against Old Lyme, winning five straight games to overcome a 5-2 deficit in the first set and erasing a 3-1 in the second set. Hagan hit a winner on Freeman's serve for the clincher.
"I just started to serve smarter and place it more than hit it hard," Freeman said. "I thought we finished strong and did what we had to do."
Hagan said, "In the tiebreaker, we always had the lead but we gave it away. "We knew we had to win this point. We made unforced errors all match and we knew we had to pull through."
Before winning the finals, Hagan and Freeman won 6-0, 6-1 over Canton's Alex Van-Ostade and Ben Corbelt, 6-0, 6-2 over Career's Rohit Grover and Kyle Catubig an 6-2, 6-1 over Old Saybrook's Rohit Grover and Kyle Catubig. They then beat sixth-seeded James Landino and Ryan Taylor of Westbrook, 3-6, 6-2, 6-1 in the quarterfinals and their seventh-seeded Trojan teammates, senior Harrison Lipsitz and Jon Lipsitz, 2-6, 7-5, 6-3 in the semifinals.
Moreover, Hagen and Freeman played singles all year and adjusted to the doubles game without any problem.
"Doubles is so much different and we had to learn how to communicate as a team," Hagan said. "It wasn't just about hitting winners but placing the ball as well."
Freeman said, "One of the key to doubles is communication and throughout the tournament, Cam and I learned how to communicate with each other and led to us winning it."
The second-seeded Schwartz had an amazing run before losing 6-1, 6-1 to the defending champion, lefty Dante Terenzio of Trinity Catholic. Terenzio will be playing for the University of Louisville next year and repeated as Class S singles champion.
"Dante is in another league," Schwartz said. "I thought I played well against him but Dante is just too good."
Before losing to Terenzio, Schwartz dominated and began the tournament by bageling his first three opponents, 6-0, 6-0, blanking Valley Regional's Danny Cappiello, Haddam-Killingworth's Tyler Montesi and 15th-seeded Joe Giannelli of Holy Cross. He then beat seventh-seeded Griffin Reed of Bolton, 6-0, 6-1 in the quarterfinals and third-seeded Brandon Roode of Griswold, 6-1, 6-2.
"I was able to move my opponents around," Schwartz said.
Before losing to Hagan and Freeman, senior Harrison Lipsitz and freshman Jon Lipsitz defeated Northwestern's Ryan Rood and Rob Hollis, 6-0, 7-5, Old Saybrook's Connor Reid and Tenzin Wangchuck, 6-0, 6-1, and Suffield's Ryan Kulas and Eric Lenser, 6-0, 6-1 to advance to the quarterfinals. In the quarterfinals, the Lipsitz brothers upset the second-seeded duo in a 6-3, 6-7 (7-5), 6-2 victory over Haddam-Killingworth's Kylke Kelsey and Varun Ravishanker before losing to their teammates.
"My brother and I have good chemistry and work well together," Harrison Lipsitz said. "When one of us gets frustrated, the other one is there to pick him up."
Jon Lipsitz said, "We went further than the coach expected us. We got in our high volleys and served and returned well."
Juniors Josh Simon and Kyle Guerin were the 12th-seed and defeated Housatonic Regional's Craig MacKay and Zachary Marrott in the first round, 6-3, 6-0, bageled Classical's Mike Ramos and James Walker in the second round and beat Immaculate's Matt Carr and Steve Lardner in the third round, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) in the third round. Simon and Guerin lost to the 13th-seeded Nick Pelligrino and Joey Strafaci of St. Bernard's in the quarterfinals, 6-1, 6-1.
"I thought we played well throughout the tournament except for our last match when we didn't have the right mindset and play to our potential," Guerin said. "I'm proud with what we did and I hope to go further next year. We had the right pairings and we all had good chemistry with our partners."
Ninth-seeded sophomore Ben Smith won three matches and opened things by bageling Shepaug Valley's Tom Andrews. Smith then beat Career's Alex Lawrence, 6-1, 6-1 and eighth-seeded Pat Gilhuly of Haddam-Kilolingworth, 6-1, 6-4, before losing to Terenzio in the quarterfinals, 6-0, 6-2. Junior Nick Richter was the 11th-seed and trounced Abbott Tech's Raphael Carvalho, 6-1, 6-1 before losing 6-4, 6-4 to Valley Regional's Trevor Rosensohn.
"Everyone went as far as they could or even farther," Schwartz. "Ben Smith and all three doubles teams went to the quarters and beyond, which helped us."