H.S. tennis roundup: East Lyme boys complete perfect regular season
Waterford - East Lyme High School completed a perfect regular season on Friday by edging rival Waterford, 4-3, in a boys' tennis matchup of Eastern Connecticut Conference divisional champions.
The Vikings, winners of the Large Division, finish 15-0, while the Medium Division winner Waterford finishes 16-2. The Lancers also lost East Lyme on May 2, 4-3.
Waterford made this match tighter by switching its Nos. 2 and 3 singles players - Willie Dong and Shashwat Kala - and embracing a change in philosophy by coach Ralph DiSaia.
"We went into East Lyme the first time and they stole our lunch money," DiSaia said. "They dictated pace, they dictated tempo and they dicated the style of play.
"This time (our players) revamped their games and made a commitment to do more serve and volley tennis and get to the net ... and it paid huge dividends. This is an extremely coachable team. It took a little coersion, but they embraced the change and I applaud them for that. All I heard at the beginning was, 'This is out of my comfort zone.' But I give them a lot of credit.
Dong, moving up to No. 2, won his match 6-4, 6-4 while Kala, who lost at No. 2 singles in the earlier meeting, won his match 6-2, 6-0. Benny Dong won at No. 4 singles for the Lancers 6-3, 6-2.
East Lyme, meanwhile, picked up a win from its No. 1 singles player Ben Biondi, who won 6-4, 6-2, and won the match by sweeping the doubles as No. 1 Matthew Chan-Nipun Hewage won 6-3, 7-5, No. 2 Yunni Kurumbail-Matt Lin won 6-0, 7-5 and No. 3 Sujay Alavala-Mukesh Kurumbail won 6-3, 6-2.
Biondi and the three doubles teams all finished the regular season unbeaten, too.
"East Lyme has a great program and they always do an excellent job," DiSaia said. "this is a rivalry where we usually split every year - us winning 4-3 at our place and them 4-3 at their place. This is the first year they've swept us in a quite a while and give them credit. They achieve high standards.
In other matches:
• Lyman Memorial beat Montville 7-0, keeping its chances to earn a share of the ECC Small Division title alive. St. Bernard has already clinched a share of the title at 7-1 and Lyman (10-4, 6-1) will earn a share with a win over Windham today. Lyman and St. Bernard split their two matches this season.
• Fitch beat St. Bernard 4-3 in a nonleague match. William Baldwin and Matt Pastor won their matches for Fitch (12-5) along with the doubles teams of Bennett Tiesinga-Kevin Ryan and Finian O'Connor-Shiloh Feldman. Nick Zuczek and Alex Zuczek won for St. Bernard (10-6) along with the doubles team of Chris Renaud-Zach Kuvalanka.
• Ledyard swept doubles play and beat Woodstock Academy 5-2 in the ECC Large Division. Jack Potter and Brian Healy won singles matches for Ledyard (8-6, 4-4) along with the doubles teams of Jake Skilbred-Ben McHale, David Allen-Nick Wycoff and Kenny Zhang-Chris West.
• Stonington wrapped up its regular season with a 7-0 win over New London in an ECC Medium Division match. Hannah Fabianski, Emily Gardiner, Taylor Startz and Claire Morehouse won their matches for the Bears (11-3, 6-2) along with the doubles teams of Morgan Parrilla-Gina Feliciano, Jen Carroll-Mallory McArdle and Chelsea Alfonso-Julie Fabrykiewicz. New London is 3-12, 0-8.
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