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Avon gets past nemesis Weston and into Class M finals – The Collinsville Press
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Boys Tennis

Avon gets past nemesis Weston and into Class M finals

After beating Weston, the Avon High boys team drove over to Avon Middle School to cheer on the girls team. They all got together for a team photo after the girls team beat North Haven, 4-3, to earn a spot in the Class L final.

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.

Tuesday’s quarterfinals
Avon 5, Joel Barlow 2
Weston 4, Masuk 0
Notre Dame-West Haven 4, Bethel 1
East Lyme 6, Ellington 1
Wednesday’s semifinals
Avon 4, Weston 0
East Lyme 6, Notre Dame-WH 1
Thursday’s championship
Avon (18-0) vs. East Lyme (17-0) at Newington Raquet Club, noon

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 35 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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