2013 High School Boys' Tennis Preview

Suryansh Patel of East Lyme returns for his sophomore season at East Lyme. He was the Eastern Connecticut Conference singles' runnerup last season.
Suryansh Patel of East Lyme returns for his sophomore season at East Lyme. He was the Eastern Connecticut Conference singles' runnerup last season. Dana Jensen/The Day Buy Photo

ECC Large

EAST LYME

Coach: Susan Welshock (6th season).

Key returnees: Sr. Charley Ren, Sr. Albert Chen, Sr. Davis Ping, Jr. Unni Kurumbail, Jr. Matthew Chan, Jr. Matthew Lin, So. Suryansh (Prince) Patel, So. Nicholas Hotary, So. Nipun Hewage.

Top newcomers: Jr. Benjamin Biondi.

Outlook: The Vikings, ECC Large champions a year ago and unbeaten at 15-0, are looking forward to another highly successful season. Patel was an ECC singles finalist last season. It will be tough to replace Andy King, a two-time ECC singles champion.

FITCH

Coach: Matthew Brown (1st season).

Key returnees: Sr. Stefan Jones, Sr. Srinivas Sriranggam, Sr. Pete Houser, Sr. Hunter Gillen, Jr. Jesse Moroyoqui.

Top newcomers: Sr. Sirji Amin, Jr. Jim Lin, So. Jacob Kowalski, So. Kush Kumar, So. William Baldwin.

Outlook: Brown replaces Bob Congdon who coached 35 years. Although Fitch (11-4) lost some key players, including three of their top four singles players, Brown is optimistic that the younger Falcons can step up and fill crucial roles.

NEW LONDON

Coach: Dave Gruber (2nd season).

Key returnees: Keith Verdini, Harry Cruz.

Top newcomers: Seth Lake, Collin Sawyer, Wassam Wael, Bahaa Hoda, Lorenzo Martinez, Deyvon Verdini, C.J. Parker, Xavier Velez, Rafayel Wassef, Areeb Mirza.

Outlook: Gruber is happy with the big turnout, including several members of the Whalers' ECC tournament champion boys' basketball team. "We don't have a lot of experience but we have some athletic kids," he said. "I'm hoping to build for the future. The kids are enthusiastic and willing to learn." New London was 4-15 last year.

ECC Medium

LEDYARD

Coach: Jay Bazinet (9th season).

Key returnees: Sr. Anuj Desai, Sr. Weston Blake, Jr. Zach Higgins, Jr. Brian Healy, Jr. David Allen, Jr. Albert Miller, So. Jake Skilbred, So. Ben McHale.

Top newcomers: So. Nick Wycoff, So. Nate Karpi.

Outlook: The Colonels (9-7) graduated their top three singles players, including No. 1 Eric Sun, giving them a young team Bazinet said will be looking to gain experience at the varsity level.

STONINGTON

Coach: Jennifer Phaiah (4th season).

Key returnees: Sr. John Skogerboe, Jr. Douglas Schweid, So. Alan Carroll.

Top newcomers: Jr. John Dong, Jr. Savy Meach, So. Kyle Hagedorn, So. Avish Patel, Fr. Ryan Sealey, Fr. Mitchell Edwards, Fr. Avery Oefinger.

Outlook: The Bears (9-8) will incorporate some young players this season. Skogerboe returns at No. 1 singles and hopes to build on a successful season last year.

WATERFORD

Coach: Ralph DiSaia (11th season).

Key returnees: Sr. Tucker Murphy, Sr. Brett Pias, Sr. Matt Getty, Jr. Alan Luner, Jr. Shashwat Kala.

Top newcomers: Sr. Trey Zaharek, Jr. Adam Howard.

Outlook: Murphy and Pias were the ECC tournament doubles champions last season, not losing a set on the way to the title. They earned All-ECC honors for the Lancers (16-1, 8-0 to win the Medium Division title), as did Kala at No. 2 singles. DiSaia hopes that, despite the loss of No. 1 singles player Dana Aing to graduation, Waterford has the depth to remain successful.

ECC Small

ST. BERNARD

Coach: Tim Kolnaski (2nd season).

Key returnees: Sr. Kevin Peters, Jr. Chris Renaud, Jr. Zach Kuvalanka, Jr. Kevin Teskey, So. Nicholas Zuczek.

Top newcomers: Fr. David Abraham.

Outlook: The Saints (10-5) return their top three singles players in Zuczek, Renaud and Peters from last year's team which shared the ECC Small Division championship with Lyman Memorial. Zuczek and Renaud were both first team All-ECC picks.

Others

WILLIAMS

Coach: Jill Corr (8th season).

Key returnees: Sr. Sam Buffum, Jr. Josh Powell, So. Adam Verhoeff, So. Victoria Ferrigno, So. Apolline Jonckeere, So. Julie Brown, Fr. Jon Powell.

Top newcomers: Sr. Jenner Foster, Jr. Hunt Welch, Jr. Rudy Harvey.

Outlook: The Blues return the entire roster from a team that went undefeated while winning their conference and suffered just one loss overall. Buffum, who'll play tennis at Trinity next year, and Josh Powell are the top two singles players.

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