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Guilford ends Avon’s run as state champions in boys tennis

Tennis graphicNEW HAVEN – The Avon High boys tennis team came close but they finished second at the Class M championships.

A year after losing to the Falcons by two points, Guilford High came out on top with a two-point win to claim the state championship, 21-19. Avon was trying to capture its fourth straight Class M championship.

Guilford clinched the title Wednesday when the top-ranked team of Luke Lemieux and Matthew Murphy won the doubles crown with a solid 6-0, 6-3 victory over Avon sophomore Mike Arciero and junior Mike Thramann, the No. 3 seed. It was Guilford’s third state championship and first since 2010.

Arciero and Thramann won four straight matches to get to the championship match, including a hard-fought three-set victory in the quarterfinals over No. 2 seed Joseph Boughton and Niall Kneerim of Brookfield, 6-7 (3-6), 7-6 (8-6), 6-2.

Arciero and Thramann received plenty of help from their Falcon teammates. Doubles teammates junior Andre Wang/senior Chris Haynes and freshmen Austin Chen/Alex Herz each won a pair of matches.

In singles, senior Riley Van Dusen went 1-1 while No. 4 seed senior John Burdick and No. 7 seed junior Eric Selzer each went 3-1 and advanced to the quarterfinals.

Burdick dropped only three games in his first three victories. In a quarterfinal loss to No. 5 Evan Powell of Guilford, Burdick was beaten in a tiebreaker in the first set and was dispatched in the second set, 7-6 (6-3), 6-2.

Selzer had a tough start but outlasted Stratford’s Alex Masi in the first round, 7-5, 6-2 before rolling to a pair of wins. Berlin’s Dan Rombola, the No. 2 seed, beat Selzer in the quarterfinal, 6-2, 6-1.

Avon (14-2, 13-0 NCCC) had an outstanding season this spring, winning the NCCC championship for the fourth straight season and winning the NCCC Tournament, as well.

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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