Winning one NVL Championship is always an obstacle. Winning two back-to-back titles is even more of a challenge. But winning three consecutive titles… it’s a feat that not many can take on– except for the Woodland Boys Tennis Team. This season the team is looking to clinch their third NVL title and go undefeated in the NVL for the third year in a row. And they’re looking to expand their success even further into states this season.
Currently, the team is 15-1, having faced only one loss from an out-of-league-team, East Catholic. In the NVL, the team has been able to sweep the majority of the teams with their starting lineup consisting of Kyle Beynor (1), Steve Pec (2), Matt Murphy (3), Patrick Dietz (4), Nick Rioux (5), and Chris Zmuda (6). The starting lineup for the Hawks has remained the strongest in the NVL, but this season, the boys are looking to make this lineup one of the strongest in the state. And just recently, the Hawks proved that they may have the ability to do just this.
Last year, the team faced off against Lewis Mills, an out-of-league team. And unfortunately, the Hawks were handed their first loss that season with Lewis Mills beating them with an overall score of 2-3. This year, however, things had changed and the team was prepared to take on a more difficult challenge. Well-conditioned and practiced, the team faced off against Lewis Mills on May 7, 2013.
Senior Captain Kyle Beynor defeated Trevor Robinson in two sets, 7-5, 7-6. Senior Captain Matt Murphy went on to bring another win home for the Hawks defeating Bill Bentley in a three set match, 6-3, 6-7, 10-6. The doubles team of senior captain Patrick Dietz and senior Nick Rioux defeated Lewis Mills 6-0, 6-1. And the doubles team of Chris Zmuda and Mike Ventimiglia walked away with the final win for the Hawks going 6-1, 6-3.
Overall the team walked away with a 4-1 win and Coach Jim Amato added that he could not have asked for more out of the team.
“The Lewis Mills Match is becoming one of the most anticipated matches of the season,” said Amato, “and this year we had prepared for Lewis Mills long before we ever saw Lewis Mills.”
After walking away with a win over the team that had beat them last year, the team has set their expectations even higher for the remainder of the season. They know that they can spread their success and better the team that they currently are.
With only four matches left of the season before the NVL and state tournaments begin, the Hawks are beginning to adjust their lineup for maximum success in the future.
“We have been working on switching our guys over to who would play primarily singles to doubles to get those doubles teams more experience. Normally, we reserve the doubles spots for the J.V. players to get them experience on the courts,” stated Amato. “But now we are going to use the doubles teams so that they could go on and win medals and go further into states. Our single players are warming up to get ready to go into NVL’s and win gold and silver medals.”
Beynor will be competing at number one singles for the Hawks in the singles NVL tournament with Murphy at number two. The two are looking to get both the gold and silver metals. Dietz and Pec will be competing for the gold in the doubles tournament at number one doubles. At number two doubles, Zmuda and Rioux will be looking to clinch the silver medal.
As for the state tournament, Amato added the team’s ultimate goal is to qualify as many players into the quarter rounds of the state tournaments and to have at least one player compete in state opens and go all-state for the first time in Woodland Tennis History.
“A state title would be wonderful, icing on the cake, but each team and each athlete has to challenge themselves to get as far they can in the state tournament,” said Amato.
The team will continue to prepare itself for both tournaments in the next couple of weeks. Together, the Hawks are focused on winning their third NVL title, receiving as many NVL medals as possible, and qualifying every member of the team into the state tournament. The Boys will play their final Woodland Match against Wolcott on May 17.