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Avon boys tennis wins fourth straight Class M championship

The Avon High boys tennis team won their fourth straight Class M championship on Thursday with a win over Hand in West Hartford. (Photo courtesy Tim Filon)

After winning all 60 dual meet matches for the past three seasons, the Avon High boys tennis team lost five matches this season, finishing with a 10-5 record. It was the most losses in a single season since 2016.

Two of the five losses came to CCC West champion Glastonbury along with defeats against Class LL finalist Staples, Darien and Hall.

But in the state tournament, the Falcons were perfect – as they have been for the past four seasons. No. 11 seed Avon beat No. 12 Hand, 5-2 on Thursday to win their fourth straight Class M championship at Conard High in West Hartford.

Four years ago in 2021, the CIAC began a dual meet tournament for boys tennis to determine team champions. In that time, Avon has never lost a CIAC state tournament dual meet going 12-0. Prior to 2021, the CIAC used points earned in the individual singles and doubles teams to determine the team state champion.

Avon (14-5) got three wins in singles and two victories in doubles to secure the state championship for eighth-year head coach Vinnie Costello.

Senior Liam Hovorka won at No. 1 singles with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Elliott Booth with his younger brother, Ryan Hovorka, sweeping Matthew Vetter, 6-1, 6-2. Senior Vishant Kandilippi also picked up a win at No. 3 singles with a 6-1, 7-6 victory. At No. 4 singles, Avon’s Charles Schaff lost in the third set.

Liam Hovorka has played in four state championship matches along with Vishant Kandilippi. Junior Ryan Hovorka has played in three state title bouts.

In doubles, Aadarsh Senthil and Myles Paquette earned a straight set victory at No. 1 doubles with Ethan Klotz and Preston Abshire winning at No. 2 doubles. Aadarsh Senthil has been in the starting lineup in doubles during all four championship runs

Avon beat top seed and NCCC champion Ellington, 7-0 in the semifinal to earn a spot in the finals. In the quarterfinals, Avon beat Branford, 6-1 and the Falcons swept Joel Barlow in the first round, 7-0.

Avon has won a tournament record 16 consecutive CIAC tournament games over the past four seasons.

The fourth consecutive state championship exceeds the run of three straight Class M titles by the Avon boys tennis squad from 2011-23. This year’s championship is the ninth state title in program history. The Falcons also won a pair of Class S championships in 1986 and 1994.

Avon 5, Hand 2
At West Hartford (Conard)
Liam Hovorka (A) def. Elliott Booth, 6-3, 6-0; Ryan Hovorka (A) def. Matthew Vetter, 6-1, 6-2; Vishant Kandilippi (A) def. Andrew Seehausen, 6-1, 7-6 (0); Marcelo Gonzalez (H) def. Charles Schaff. 7-6 (5), 4-6, 13-11
Doubles: Aadarsh Senthil/Myles Paquette (A) def. Deacon Wilkens/Paul Fumex, 7-5, 6-0; Ethan Klotz/Preston Abshire (A) def. Gus Hodge/Gavin Waterman, 6-3, 6-4; William Dodd/Nathaniel Konstantino (H) def. Jonathan Green/Abid Syed, 6-2, 6-3
Records: Avon 14-5, Hand 16-7

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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