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Avon boys tennis team earns spot in fourth straight state final

The Avon High boys tennis team came into the season with plenty of expectations.

The Falcons were the three-time defending Class M champions and they hadn’t lost a dual meet since the season finale in 2019 – winning 61 matches in a row.

But they were challenged this season. Head coach Vinny Costello increased the difficulty of the schedule. Avon dropped their first two matches of the season to Darien and Hall, respectively. Both were 5-2 losses.

The Falcons also lost twice to Glastonbury and dropped a 5-2 decision to Staples, a Class LL finalist who will face Glastonbury for the title.

However, in the Class M tournament, No. 11 Avon is looking strong. The Falcons have won 20 of 21 individual matches in the state tournament including a 7-0 shutout win over No. 1 Ellington on Thursday to earn a spot in Thursday’s Class M championship game for the fourth straight year.

Avon (13-5) will face No. 12 Hand-Madison (16-6) at Conard in West Hartford at 3 p.m.

Avon handed NCCC champion Ellington (15-1) their first loss of the season. Liam Hovorka, Ryan Hovorka, Vishant Kandilippiand each won in straight sets for Avon along with doubles teams of Aadarsh Senthil/Myles Paquette and Ethan Klotz/Preston Abshire.

With the match decided, Charles Schafff and the doubles team of Jonathan Green/Abid Syed played a pro set.

The only loss thus far for Avon in the state tournament came in a 6-1 quarterfinal win over Branford. The Falcons also swept Joel Barlow, 7-0 in the second round.

Class M semifinal
Avon 7, Ellington 0
At Ellington
Liam Hovorka (A) def. Thomas Ameral, 6-3, 6-2; Ryan Hovorka (A) def. Akshith Velagapudi, 6-0, 6-1; Vishant Kandilippi (A) def. Dylan McKee, 6-0, 6-0; Charles Schafff (A) def. Sion Moon, 8-2
Doubles: Aadarsh Senthil/Myles Paquette (A) def. Lucas Ladin/Anshul Kulkarni, 6-2, 6-0; Ethan Klotz/Preston Abshire (A) def. Anthony Gray/Saisuhruth Choppakatia, 6-1, 6-0; Jonathan Green/Abid Syed (A) def.Clay Laplante/Adithya Ummanath, 8-2
Records: Ellington 15-1, Avon 13-5

Class M quarterfinal
Avon 6, Branford 1
At Avon
Liam Hovorka (A) def Schalper (B) 6-1, 6-0; Ryan Hovorka def (B) Baylis 6-1, 6-1; Kanipilli (A) def Porras (B) 6-3, 6-1; Schaff (A) def Akin (B) 6-2, 6-1
Doubles: Addarsin & Paquette (A) def Law & Paudyal (B) 6-0, 6-0; Klotz & Abshire (A) def Ferrara & Heier (B) 7-6 (7-0), 6-4; Radziunas & Bhawnani (B) def Green & Syed (A) 7-6 (8-6), 6-1
Records: Avon 12-5

Class M second round
Avon 7, Joel Barlow 0
At Avon
Singles: Liam Hovorka (A) def W. Nichols 2-6, 6-1, 10-8, Ryan Hovorks (A) def M. Nichols (JB) 6-1, 6-0; Kandipilli (A) def Gagliardi (JB) 6-3, 6-1; Schaff (A) def Stemkens
Doubles: Addarsin & Paquette (A) def Venogopal & Cameron (JB) 6-1, 6-1; Abshire & Syed (A) def Perales-Hudson & Marin (JB) 6-0, 6-1; Thakar & Green (A) def Ollendorf & Pavel (JB) 6-0, 6-1
Records: Avon 11-5

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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