Class LL, L boys tennis champions crowned
The heat was exhausting and the winds were baffling Saturday at the Amity Regional High School tennis courts.
But it didn't matter because there was a more important goal in mind.
Win a state title.
And a large number of boys tennis players went home happy as the Class LL and Class L singles and doubles championships were completed.
"With a 3-peat, there's always a target on your back. I did feel pressure to keep the streak going," Farrell said. "I've played against Ted Berkowitz a lot and every match with him is a battle. I just kept telling myself to make one more shot than Ted."
The games were marked by long marathon rallies from the baseline. Farrell's strongest statement in the first set was when he survived a plethora of deuces to hold serve at 5-0. In the second set, it was 2-2 before Farrell reeled off the final four games for the victory as his Wilton teammates flashed 3-Peat signs to mark the occasion.
"I'm happy and humble to have three state titles. It means all the hard work all season paid off," Farrell said.
Having grown a few inches taller and filled out in his frame since last year's title, Farrell has added a power component to his already-impressive array of fundamental strokes and heady finesse talents.
"My manner is more patient. But my game is more active and aggressive on the court," Farrell said. "My first serve has improved. I try to dictate more points with my groundstrokes. I go for more shots. And that makes my topspin shots more effective when I use them."
"I didn't play my best but I gave it my all," Berkowitz said. "Noah played well but I felt I had a bad day."
However, the bus carrying the entire Fairfield Warde boys tennis team had a memorable journey home. The Mustangs finished tied with Daniel Hand at 22 points to be crowned Class L co-team champions.
"We worked so hard for it. We fell short the last few years so it means everything to take that plaque home today," Berkowitz said.
"It feels pretty incredible. I believed since last year we could win a state title," said Fairfield Warde head coach Ben Zuckerberg. "I won a few state titles when I was a player. And this group of Fairfield Warde players worked harder than anyone in the state. I'm so happy they received their just reward."
"I took home the runnerup medal last year. This is much sweeter," McVeigh said. "I was so happy when Will (Burger) wanted to play doubles with me in the states. We pushed really hard the last three weeks. The key today was we got to the net a lot more. We put our overheads away."
"I knew from day 1 that Devin was a perfect partner for doubles," Burger said. "I couldn't be happier with the aggressive way we played. This is a high note for two seniors to end their high school tennis careers."
Fairfield Ludlowe did take home the Class L team runnerup plaque as the Falcons finished with 19 points.
"They served better than I did. We played well. They played better," Adajian said. "We made a good run. We made All-State. So we get another banner put up in the gym. Nice to know I did it as a sophomore and as a senior."
"Dan made it easy for me," said Jennings, a freshman. "To get to the L finals is amazing."
Westhill's fourth consecutive appearance in the Class LL doubles final involved a the three-set come-from-behind victories in the quarterfinals (two hours, 30 minutes over Fairfield Prep) and in the semifinals (three hours, 15 minutes over Ridgefield's top doubles team of Doug Butturini/ Matt DePrima) took a toll on Westhill lefty Singer and Soifer.
Class LL, L Championships
At Amity Regional High School, Woodbridge.
Class LL Singles final: Jason Seidman (Amity) def. Reid Risinger (Glastonbury), 6-1, 6-3; Class LL Doubles final: Bryson Mosley/ Thomas Knortz (Ridgefield) def. Miles Singer/ Danny Soifer (Westhill), 6-3, 6-3. Class LL team champion: Greenwich High (24 pts). Class LL team runnerup Staples (21 pts).
Class L singles final: Noah Farrell (Wilton) def. Ted Berkowitz (Fairfield Warde), 6-0, 6-2; Class L doubles final: Will Burger/ Devin McVeigh (New Canaan) def. Dan Adajian/ Mason Jennings (Fairfield Ludlowe), 6-3, 6-4; Class L team co-champions Daniel Hand, Fairfield Warde (22 pts each). Class L team runnerup Fairfield Ludlowe (19).