Fitch sweeps titles at ECC boys' tennis tournament
East Lyme — A loose (but generally accurate) illustration of high school tennis and its normal rhythms here in late May:
East Lyme kid wins Eastern Connecticut Conference singles tournament championship.
East Lyme kids win ECC doubles championship.
Ah, but except for 2022, when the hue changed Wednesday from maroon and white to scarlet and black.
All hail Fitch High School, home of the ECC singles (Will Albrikes) and doubles (Tim Lynch and Doug Cardona) champs.
"I came to Fitch and wanted this so bad," Albrikes said, after outlasting Stonington's Tucker Callahan 7-5, 7-5 in 2 hours, 15 minutes. "And I'm so happy doubles won, too. We love it."
The top-seeded Albrikes, a freshman, not only needed 1:18 to win the first set, but prepared himself for the possibility.
"Last time we played, it was like 2:30," he said. "I knew this was one I would have to grind out. Tucker is a great player. He always plays great against me and brings out my best."
Albrikes, who punctuated one winner with the LeBron James' celebratory "silencer," led 4-0 and 5-2 in the second set, but watched as the second-seeded Callahan, a sophomore and finalist for the second straight year, rallied to 5-5.
"He made a great comeback," Albrikes said. "If I'm in that same situation, I don't know that would have happened. I have a lot of respect for him."
Cardona (headed to the University of Rhode Island) and Lynch (Endicott), overcame an early deficit to post a 6-4, 6-1 win over East Lyme seniors Riley Walsh and Matt Bradley, seeded No. 5.
"It's the championship match. We had some nerves early," Lynch said. "We knew we just had to settle down and play the way we had all season."
Cardona called it a "reset."
Cardona and Lynch, seeded third, won in under an hour and settled in to watch Albrikes and his marathon.
"We lost to East Lyme last year," Lynch said. "East Lyme is a great program and every year, they're the hardest team we play. They're really tough. That's why this feels so good."
2022 ECC award winners/ boys' and girls' tennis
Singles: Will Albrikes (Fitch), Tucker Callahan (Stonington), Daniel Sapozhnikov (East Lyme), Jiarui Peng (East Lyme).
Doubles: Conrad Tobiassen-Josh Lord (Stonington), Rohan Purohit/Rohun Boopathy (East Lyme), Doug Cardona/Tim Lynch (Fitch).
Honorable Mention: Singles: Matt Turrisi (Stonington), Andres Sardar (Fitch); Doubles: Matt Bradley-Riley Walsh (East Lyme).
Sportsmanship: Matt Bradley (East Lyme), Will Albrikes (Fitch), Peter Previty (Stonington), Enzo Guarnieri (Waterford).
Scholar-athlete: Aditya Kabra (East Lyme), Andres Sardar(Fitch), Conrad Tobiassen (Stonington), Gabriel Parent (Waterford).
Singles: Julian Mileski (Ledyard), Evan Haskins (Woodstock), Matt Bourguignon (Ledyard), Gabriel Viau (Woodstock).
Doubles: Ronan Allison-Ben Fieldsend (Ledyard), Reese Yaras-Malloch Allison (Ledyard), Ari Abrams-Tyler Chamberlin (Woodstock).
Honorable mention: Singles: Damion DePaul (Ledyard), Jack Lacey (NFA); Doubles: Cormac Nielsen-Kyle Pazienza (Woodstock).
Sportsmanship: Damion DePaul (Ledyard), Flavio Alvarado (New London), Jack Lacey (NFA), Zhou Shi (Woodstock).
Scholar-athlete: Matt Bourguignon (Ledyard), Bennett Oakes (New London), Aydin Chowdhury (NFA), Jai Abrams (Woodstock)
Singles: Brendan Duhamel (Montville), Liam Peters (St. Bernard/Wheeler), Lucas Clayton (Killingly), Jack Giurleo (Montville).
Doubles: Wyatt Hayes-Sam Cunningham (SB/W); Coen Laibrandt-Ryan Miller (Lyman Memorial); Joey Busher-Nathan Dobley (SB/W).
Honorable mention: Singles: Matt Bottaro (SB/W), Ethan Thomas (Montville); Doubles: Danny Zhong-Benny Wu (Montville).
Sportsmanship: Seth Varin (Killingly), Justin Valiquette (Lyman), Jack Giurleo (Montville), Zach Kobyluck (SB/W).
Scholar-athlete: Ryan Miller (Killingly), Coen Laibrandt (Lyman), Brendan Duhamel (Montville), Liam Peters (SB/W).
Singles: Sarah Hage (Waterford), Maddie Hamm (Stonington), Grace Duggan (Stonington), Mara Wolff (East Lyme).
Doubles: Katya Snegovskikh-Katie Johnstone (Stonington), Erin Motherway-Emily Fulling (Stonington), Iris Liu-Avery Rindell (East Lyme).
Honorable mention: Singles: Julia Mielguj (Fitch), Autumn Brothers (Waterford); Doubles: Anna Servidio-Kristine Lee (Fitch).
Sportsmanship: Riddhi Bansal (East Lyme), Fiza Shariff (Fitch), Mia Lewandowski (Stonington), Maple Sui (Waterford).
Scholar-athlete: Mara Wolff (East Lyme), Anna Servidio (Fitch), Maddie Gonzalez (Stonington), Marina Molina (Waterford).
Singles: Paige Raposo (NFA), Sarah Bailey (Ledyard), Jackie Trudeau (Woodstock), Addy Smith (Woodstock).
Doubles: Ellie Bishop Klee-Logan Reynolds (Woodstock), Morgan Bentley-Stella Atchinson (Woodstock), Alanah Maranzano-Kylee Gill (Ledyard).
Honorable mention: Singles: Sydney Schuler (Woodstock), Emily Fielding (New London); Doubles: Emma Massey-Peyton Bentley (Woodstock).
Sportsmanship: Courtney Sizer (Ledyard), Christmaela Bouquet (New London), Emily Eggler (NFA), Morgan Bentley (Woodstock).
Scholar-athlete: Sarah Bailey (Ledyard), Emily Fielding (New London), Paige Raposo (NFA), Addy Smith (Woodstock).
Singles: Sydney Kolz (Montville), Zhuning Gao (St. Bernard), Nina Gardella (Lyman Memorial), Allie Kondash (Montville).
Doubles: Avery Brooks-Alexis Zimnoch (Lyman), Amelia Wentworth-Aria Nowosad (Lyman), Anna Beauchene-Jessica Hochdarfer (Montville).
Honorable mention: Singles: Meri Kamboli (St. Bernard), Fiona Lau (Montville); Doubles: Alexa Hartman-Linda Ru (Montville).
Sportsmanship: Jessica Long (Killingly), Nina Gardella (Lyman), Alexa Hartman (Montville), Blake Murray (St. Bernard), Naisha Rios (Windham/Windham Tech).
Scholar-athlete: Nicole Cicchetti (Killingly), Aria Nowosad (Lyman), Sydney Kolz (Montville), Olivia Busher (St. Bernard), Allona Laboy (W/WT).
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