AVON, June 2, 2021 – The Avon High boys tennis team has been close to winning a state championship in the past six CIAC tournaments. But each time, they couldn’t get past Weston.
The Trojans won five straight Class M titles from 2014-18 and in 2019, they finished tied for second with Avon, one point behind eventual champion Joel Barlow. In that six span from 2014-19, Avon finished second five times.
On Wednesday, the Falcons got past Weston with a 4-0 victory to earn a spot in Thursday’s Class M championship game at Thompson Brook School. Avon swept all four singles matches to clinch the win and turned the doubles matches into exhibitions.
“I didn’t want them to get hurt,” Avon’s fourth-year coach Vinnie Costello said. “(Thursday) is a bigger match.”
Undefeated Avon (18-0) will square off against No. 4 East Lyme (17-0) beginning at noon at the Newington Tennis Center. The Falcons will be looking for their first state championship since 2013.
The boys tournament is different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of holding an individual tournament where teams earn points for each win they get in singles and doubles, the CIAC is hosting a dual meet tournament to determine state championship squads.
Liam Hovorka (No. 1 singles), Will Mathias (No. 2), Dylan Karp (No. 3) and Tej Raman (No. 4) each won to lift Avon to the victory over Weston (16-1). Mathias, Karp and Raman each won in straight sets. It took Hovorka three sets to beat Weston’s Dan Oren and earn a win. Hovorka took the third set by a 6-2 margin.
“They came ready to play today,” Costello said. “They knew what they up against today because Weston is always a hard team to play. When you have two undefeated teams going against each other. You know you have to bring your best and today we definitely did that.”
The Falcons have won 19 straight matches dating back to the 2019 season.
Avon 5, Joel Barlow 2
Weston 4, Masuk 0
Notre Dame-West Haven 4, Bethel 1
East Lyme 6, Ellington 1
Avon 4, Weston 0
East Lyme 6, Notre Dame-WH 1
Avon (18-0) vs. East Lyme (17-0) at Newington Raquet Club, noon