SUFFIELD, May 24 – It has been quite a while since the Avon High girls tennis team finished the season without the NCCC championship. But it happened this spring. The co-op team from Ellington/Somers outlasted Avon twice in a pair of hard-fought 4-3 victories to win the league title with a perfect 18-0 season.
However, Ellington/Somers didn’t take home all of the championship hardware this spring. Avon had three individual champions and one championship doubles team to help the Falcons win the NCCC Tournament, 18-15 over Ellington/Somers Friday. Granby and Suffield were a distant third with six points each.
Avon had an individual or doubles team in the finals of all seven flights of the NCCC Tournament.
“It meant a lot to the team,” Avon’s first-year coach Kim Moretti said. “They wanted it badly.” London Van Dusen, who lost twice this year at Ellington’s Kat Sisco, beat Sisco in the third singles final by a score of 8-4.
Avon finished the regular season with a 16-2 record and seven straight victories. They dropped just one matches in that stretch.
“They’re playing smarter,” Moretti said. “They’re excellent athletes. They have good footwork and a good work ethic. And they’re fighters. With that combination, it helped them win the tournament.”
Top seeded Hannah Riley of Ellington/Somers beat Avon’s Kendall Held, 8-5 to win the NCCC title at No. 1 singles. But the Falcons won the remaining singles flights.
Pam Fetzer beat Ellington’s Kristen Gouin at No. 2 singles, 8-4, Van Dusen beat Sisco, 8-4 at No. 3 singles and Avon’s Makena Barats beat Somers’ Jillian Jenkins, 8-4 at No. 4 singles.
At No. 1 singles, Hannah and Maddie Clark beat Granby’s Alanna Bergmann and Maddy Dixon, 8-5 to win the tournament. Ellington’s Karli King and Allison Steinmetz outlasted Avon’s Gabby Berns and Jade Yen at No. 2 singles, 8-4 while Ellington’s Hayley Babineau and Ashley Thomas beat Avon’s Sara Chow and Shana Morel, 9-8, 11-9 in the tiebreaker.
Avon is seeded third in the Class M tournament that begins on Tuesday. The Falcons will host the winner of the Sheehan and New Fairfield match at 3 p.m. at Sycamore Hills.
If Avon prevails, they’ll play in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, semifinals on Thursday and finals on Friday. Ellington/Somers is the No. 1 seed in the tournament and on the opposite side of the bracket. Avon could only meet Ellington in the finals.
“The timing is good,” Moretti said. “The girls are peaking at the right time. The conference was a good confidence builder for the kids. They’re thrilled and so am I.”
2013 NCCC Girls Tennis Tournament
Team results – 1. Avon 18, 2. Ellington/Somers 15, 3. Granby and Suffield 6, 5. Windsor Locks 3, 6. Coventry 1; 7. Canton, Bolton, East Granby and Enfield 0
First singles: Hannah Riley (E/S) def. Kendall Held (A), 8-5
Second singles: Pam Fetzer (A) def. Kristine Gouin (E/S), 8-4
Third singles: London Van Dusen (A) def. Kat Sisco (E/S), 8-4
Fourth singles: Makena Barats (A) def. Jillian Jenkins (Som), 8-4
First doubles: Hannah Clark/Maddie Clark (A) def. Alanna Bergmann/Maddy Dixon (Granby) 8-5.
Second doubles: Karli King/Allison Steinmetz (E/S) def Gaby Berns/Jade Yen (A), 8-4
Third doubles: Hayley Babineau/Ashley Thomas (E/S) def. Sara Chow/Shana Morel (A), 9-8 (11-9 tiebreaker)
Final 2013 NCCC standings: Ellington/Somers 18-0, Avon 16-2, Granby 14-4, Suffield 10-8 (12-8 overall), East Granby 9-8, Windsor Locks 8-10, Coventry 5-13, Bolton 5-13, Canton 1-16 (1-17 overall); Enfield 1-17