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Undefeated Avon High boys tennis team won third straight state title

The Avon High boys tennis team won their third straight Class M championship with a 7-0 win over Weston at Wesleyan University in Middletown. (Jacob Halesma photo courtesy of CIAC)

The Avon High boys tennis team went undefeated this spring – for the third consecutive season. The Falcons went 20-0 and won their third straight Class M championship with a 7-0 shutout win over Weston at Wesleyan University in Middletown on June 1.

The Falcons (20-0, 7-0 CCC West) lost just seven individual matches during the entire season.

Top singles player junior Liam Hovorka lost just once during the regular season and sophomore Ryan Hovorka (No. 2), senior Will Mathias (No. 3) and junior Vishant Kandipilli (No. 4) didn’t lose a single match at all during the regular season.

The top doubles team of seniors Ravi Corrie and Amaan Baweja were undefeated in the regular season.

Avon, who was led by head coach Vinny Costello, has now won 61 straight matches in a row, dating back to the final match of the 2019 season.

The most challenging matches for the Falcons in the regular season were a 5-2 win over Staples on opening day and a 5-2 win over Hall on May 12. Avon swept the remaining 14 matches by a score of 7-0.

In the Class M tournament, Avon swept Sheehan-Wallingford, 7-0, before topping Notre Dame-West Haven in the quarterfinals, 5-2. Avon swept Hand in in the semifinals, 7-0 and blanked Weston in the championship match, 7-0.

Juniors Sriram Jetty and Michael Chen played at No. 2 doubles for the Falcons with sophomore Preston Abshire and junior Aadarsh Senthil playing at No. 3 doubles.

It’s the second time that the Falcons have won three consecutive state titles. Avon won three Class M championships from 2011-13. In those days, players earned points for each individual match they won in a single-elimination Class M tournament. This was Avon’s eighth state title in boys tennis.

The CIAC moved to dual meets to determine a champion in boys tennis after the pandemic, beginning in 2021. The Falcons have won a state-record 12 straight CIAC tournament matches.

In the State Open individual tournament, Corrie and Baweja were seeded No. 3 in the doubles tournament and advanced to the semifinals before dropping a hard-fought match to Greenwich’s Cal Jain and Nicholas O’Brien, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 10-8.

In the singles tournament, No. 7 seed Liam Horvorka won twice and advanced to the quarterfinals before dropping a 6-0, 6-4 decision to No. 2 Dylan Atkinson of Greenwich.

Ryan Horvorka won twice before dropping a 6-4, 6-4 decision to No. 4 Sam Donnelly of Darien in the round of 16. Ryan outlasted No. 14 Danny Wachira of Norwalk in the round of 32 to advance, 2-6, 6-4, 16-14.

Avon has won the last three CCC West championships and has a 20-match winning streak against CCC West teams over the past three seasons.

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

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