With the FCIAC Tournament beginning on Thursday, it’s important to enter the postseason with momentum and the Greenwich High School boys tennis team has gained a significant amount of late.
The Cardinals were a straight-set success against visiting St. Joseph Monday, sweeping their way to a 7-0 victory. As the first round of the FCIAC Tournament draws near, the Cardinals have won five out of their last six matches and have a record of 9-5.
“It’s great to see players develop their physical game during the season, but what’s even more gratifying is to watch them mature in terms of match awareness,” Greenwich coach Ray Marschall said.
At first singles, Greenwich senior captain Matthew Luzzi registered a 6-1, 6-0 victory against Jon Jazwinski. Luzzi used a strong serve and impressive groundstrokes to dictate the points throughout. Second singles saw freshman Matthew Hunt top St. Joseph’s Samir Ragani, 6-4, 2-6, 10-5, in a hard-fought matchup.
“It was a gutsy performance after losing the second set and the momentum, but he played smart in coming back to take the tiebreaker with depth of shots, solid serving and some excellent poise at crucial points,” Marschall said of Hunt’s win.
Junior Lucas Piccininno got the start at third singles Monday for the Cards and promptly posted a 6-0, 6-1 triumph against Cadets junior Owen Newbauer.
“I was consistent, I was able to place the ball around the court and I kind of always had him on the move,” Piccininno said. “Every once in a while, I would go up to the net and finish the volley. Overall, it was a good match. Both players played well.”
Piccininno is looking forward to seeing what the squad can accomplish in the postseason.
“I think we have definitely improved as a team,” he said. “We are a lot better now after playing a lot of the top teams and I’m looking forward to FCIACs.”
Freshman Harrison Wolfe was victorious at fourth singles for the Cardinals against Guenther Bartalone, 6-3, 6-3. In doubles action, sophomore Cai Jain and sophomore Bruce Lunder notched a 6-4, 6-1 win for GHS over Kyle Sullivan/Patrick Dineen at the top spot.
At No. 2, the senior duo of Sebastian Yamasato/Connor Sobieri of Greenwich beat Joe Harrington/Jack Donofrio, 6-0, 6-1, in impressive fashion. Third singles saw Isaiah Sohn/Francisco Fontana give the Cardinals an efficient 6-4, 6-0 win.
“Our team is pretty solid going into the FCIAC Tournament,” said Sohn, a junior. “Our captain, Matt Luzzi, has done an exceptional job at helping everyone get better at tennis and keeping the team strong. I’m pretty confident in our abilities overall and I think we’ll do well in the tournament. Our biggest rivals are Staples, Darien and New Canaan. By playing them earlier in the season, we can learn from our mistakes and next time we play them, we’ll have to adapt our strengths and recognize our weaknesses.”
Added Fontana: “We have built up a lot of chemistry as a doubles team during the season. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and we coach each other to help us improve. Our styles complement each other.”