It was more of a battle than expected as the Weston High boys tennis team took on Newtown in the South-West Conference championship.
The defending champ Trojans, who defeated their opponent 5-2 twice during the regular season, had their hands full in the latest encounter on Monday. In fact, it came down to one match with the Trojans hanging on for 4-3 win at home in a rematch of last year’s finalists.
The win marked Weston’s third straight league crown and 10th in the last 11 seasons.
“We had a barn burner,” said Weston coach Gary Meunier, whose team is now 16-3 overall. “We struggled in some areas where we haven’t and got some positive performances in others.”
Top-seeded Weston, which swept Pomperaug 7-0 in the semifinals last Thursday, May 16, faced a Newtown team that had altered its lineup since the last match. First singles stayed the same, however. For the third time this season Weston’s Oscar Morris faced Cam McCleary at first singles. Recovering from illness, Morris fell 6-4, 6-2 this time.
Newtown also took second singles but in three sets. Tyler Ruefenacht lost the first to David Freeman but won the next two for a 4-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory.
The Trojans dominated third singles. Jon Lipsitz just missed a sweep before beating Keaton McCleary 6-0, 6-1.
Jack Lawless was at fourth singles and evened up the match with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Matt Casino.
Weston first doubles players Henry Morris and Greg Portner faced a different Newtown combination ]this time. Sean Elliot and Ricky Fuentes had the upper hand in a 6-2, 6-3 win. A 6-4, 6-1 win by Ben Lander and Eric Nalbandian and Greg Portner over Yossi Kohrmann-Glasier and Nic Klein evened up the match.
A pair of freshmen would secure the win for Weston. Third doubles players Jordan Suss and Ishan Mirchandani held off Kunal Marwah and Mike Duston 6-4, 6-4 for the championship.
“It was a great performance,” said Meunier. “They bailed us out.”
Weston will now take part in the state Class S tournament and try for its 12th straight title.