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Avon boys capture NCCC title but fall short in quest for Class M crown

Tennis graphicNEW HAVEN – The Avon High boys tennis team had the opportunity to win its fourth Class M state championship in the last five years but an upset in doubles and East Lyme’s Suryansh Patel helped Weston outlast the Falcons, 24-22 and capture the state title. 

Patel, the No. 9 seed in singles, beat Avon’s No. 4 seed Eric Selzer in the semifinals and beat Avon’s No. 7 seed Alex Herz in the championship bout, 6-1, 6-1. The Falcons also suffered a setback when their No. 1 seeded doubles team of Michael Arciero and Mike Thramann was upset in the third round by Branford’s Miles Conlin and Jared Pratt. 

Avon (17-2, 16-0 NCCC) finished second for the second consecutive season. Avon won three straight Class M titles from 2011 through 2013.

This spring was another outstanding season for the Falcons. They rolled through the NCCC season with little difficultly, extending its NCCC dual meet win streak that dates back to the 2010 campaign, to 83 consecutive matches. 

Avon won the NCCC championship for the sixth straight season and won the NCCC Tournament. Alex Herz (No. 2), Gabe Levin (No. 3) and Chris Arciero (No. 4) won in singles while Eric Selzer finished second at No. 1 singles, falling to Ellington’s Micah Fox. Avon’s three doubles teams all won league titles – Michael Arciero/Mike Thramann (No. 1), Ansha Chen/Andre Wang (No. 2) and Jamie McNeil/Ryan Zelazny (No. 3). 

In the final week of the season, Avon did drop a 5-2 decision to East Catholic and a 4-3 loss to Guilford as Ben Lukowicz looked to challenge his players prior to the state tournament. 

Herz, a sophomore, had an excellent singles tournament, winning five of six matches. He beat Tolland’s Cameron Nick in the quarterfinals and No. 6 Matthew Sachs of Branford in the semifinals, 6-2, 6-2. Patel dominated in the championship match, 6-1, 6-1. 

Selzer, a senior, played well. He won three straight before outlasting No. 5 Eric Nalbandian of Weston, 7-5, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinal, Patel beat Selzer in straight sets, 6-4, 6-3. Chris Arciero and Gabe Levin each went 1-1 for Avon in singles. 

In doubles, Michael Arciero/Thramann and McNeil/Zelazny each went 1-1. Avon sophomore Anstia Chen and senior Andre Wang were seeded seventh and they won two tough matches, winning tiebreakers in both bouts, before being eliminated in the quarterfinals.

Class M boys tennis
At New Haven
Team results: 1. Weston 24, 2. Avon 22, 3. Ellington 14, 4. East Lyme 13, 5. Branford 9
Singles
Quarterfinals: Suryansh Patel, East Lyme def. Andrew Schadt, Tolland 6-4, 6-3; Eric Selzer, Avon def. Eric Nalbandian, Weston 7-5, 6-2; Matthew Sachs, Branford def. Sebastian Casellas, Weston 7-6 (7-0), 6-4; Alex Herz,Avon def. Cameron Nick, Tolland 6-1, 6-3
Semifinals: Suryansh Patel, East Lyme def. Eric Selzer, Avon 6-4, 6-3; Alex Herz, Avon def. Matthew Sachs, Branford 6-2, 6-2
Final: Suryansh Patel, East Lyme def. Alex Herz, Avon 6-1, 6-1

2015 NCCC standings
                        NCCC   Overall
x-Avon               16-0     17-2
Ellington            14-2    16-2
Granby              10-6    10-6
W. Locks           10-6    13-6
Canton              9-7        9-7
Suffield              7-9        7-10
Enfield/Somers  2-14      2-14
Bolton                1-14-1   1-15-1
Classical            1-14-1   2-15-1
x-won league championship

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