SUFFIELD, May 30 – The Avon High boys tennis team won its fifth straight NCCC championship this spring and added another NCCC Tournament trophy to its collection, too, on Thursday.
But the Falcons have their eyes on the big prize – another state championship. Avon has won the last three Class M titles. A year ago, the Falcons prevailed over Guilford, 20-18 in the closest tournament in Avon’s three-year run.
“Our goal is to win the state title for the fourth year in a row,” said senior John Burdick, who fell in the No. 1 singles final to two-time defending Class S champion Chandler Libby of Granby, 6-1, 6-1. “We don’t expect anything less than that. Anything less would be a disappointment.”
The Class M tournament begins Saturday at Yale University in New Haven.
“It takes a lot of mental toughness,” Burdick said. “There is a lot more pressure. You’re on a bigger stage and there is a bigger crowd watching. It’s a big moment.”
Burdick, Eric Selzer (No. 2 singles), Gabe Levin (No. 3 singles) and Riley Van Dusen (No. 4 singles) played in the Class M tournament a year ago along with Andre Wang (No. 2 doubles).
Avon had little trouble capturing the NCCC Tournament Thursday in Suffield. The Falcons (14-2, 13-0 NCCC) won two of four flights of singles and swept all three flights in doubles. Avon outscored Ellington/Somers by a 21-16 score. Canton was third with 11 points with Granby in fourth with nine points.
“The younger guys really stepped up for us today,” Burdick said at the NCCC Tournament.
Junior Eric Selzer won at No. 2 singles along with senior Riley Van Dusen at No. 4 singles. Junior Gabe Levin finished second at No. 3 singles.
Avon’s three doubles teams of sophomore Mike Thramann and junior Michael Arciero (No. 1 doubles); senior Chris Haynes and junior Andre Wang (No. 2 doubles) and freshmen Alex Herz and Austin Chen (No. 3 doubles) all won their flights.
Canton (9-5, 9-5 NCCC) finished third in the tournament with freshman Joseph Bowman making it to the finals at No. 4 singles where he lost to Van Dusen in straight sets. Canton’s No. 2 doubles team of juniors Jonas Real and Jon Smith also finished second.
Junior Richie Hefler took third at No. 2 singles with an 8-6 win over Suffield’s Quinn Richard. The interesting fact is that Richard beat Hefler in the first match of the tournament. Hefler won two hard-fought matches in the consolation round to get another shot at Richard in the third place match. Hefler won his second consolation match in a tiebreaker, beating Granby’s Peter Marzo, 9-8 (8-6).
Canton senior Chris Coleman also took third at No. 3 singles with a 8-2 win over Bolton’s Joseph Sansevero.
NOTES: The 2013 NCCC Tournament was cancelled due to poor weather. … Avon has won 66 straight dual meets in NCCC competition, last losing to Bolton in the 2010 season. … Avon and Bolton shared the 2010 league championship. The Falcons have won the last four NCCC titles outright and are 57-0 in league competition over the past four seasons.
Final league standings: Avon 14-2, 13-0 NCCC; Ellington 11-3, 11-3; Canton 9-5, 9-5; Granby 9-5, 9-5; Suffield 6-12, 5-9 NCCC; Windsor Locks 6-12, 3-11 NCCC; Bolton 5-9, 5-9; Enfield 0-13, 0-13
2014 NCCC Tournament
Team results – 1. Avon 21, 2. Ellington/Somers 16, 3. Canton 11, 4. Granby 9
No. 1: Final – Chandler Libby, Granby, def. John Burdick, Avon, 6-1, 6-1; 3. Michah Fox, Ellington/Somers def. Eric Scott, Canton, 8-2
No. 2: Final – Eric Selzer, Avon de. Hao Xu, Ellington/Somers, 6-2, 6-1; 3. Richie Hefler, Canton def. Quinn Richard, Suffield, 8-6
No. 3: Final – Kevin Sisco, Ellington/Somers def. Gabe Levin, Avon, 6-2, 6-1; 3. Chris Coleman, Canton def. Joseph Sansevero, Bolton, 8-2
No. 4: Final – Riley Van Dusen, Avon def. Joseph Bowman, Canton, 6-0, 6-1; 3. Frederick Moffa, Granby def. Rahul Deshmukh, Ellington/Somers
No. 1: Final – Mike Thramann/Michael Arciero, Avon, def. Alex Voisine/Luke Peterson, Suffield
No. 2: Final – Chris Haynes/Andre Wang, Avon, def. Jonas Real/Jon Smith, Canton
No. 3: Final – Alex Herz/Austin Chen, Avon, def. Tyler Moriarty/Kyle Johnson, Ellington/Somers
No final scores available for doubles