Looking to overcome inexperience

By BRIAN JENNINGS

STAFF WRITER

2017 REGULAR SEASON

Overall Record—7-9 (7-4 home, 0-5 away).

CCC South Region Record—3-7.

CCC South White Division Record/Ranking—2-2, 4th/5.

CCC South White Champion—Berlin (12-6, 9-0).

CCC South White Runner-Up—Middletown (9-6, 7-2).

2017 POSTSEASON

Class M Tournament (at Yale University):

Singles Tournament—DNQ.

1st Round of Doubles Tournament—Joseph Abraham-Jarrett Sutula, Brookfield, def. Jeremy Myska-Lian-Wei Yuan, Plainville, 6-3, 6-2.

Class M Singles Championship—#1 Andrew Ilie, St. Joseph, def. #3 Jonathon Trevethan, Berlin, 6-0, 6-0.

Class M Doubles Championship—#1 Reid Brostoff-Jesse Kallins, Weston, def. #7 Drew Berkin-Steven Dampf, Weston, 6-2, 7-5.

Class M Team Champion—Weston.

Class M Team Runner-Up—Avon.

State Open (at Yale University)—DNQ.

State Open Singles Championship—Evan Felcher, Staples, def. Andrew Forchetti, Notre Dame of West Haven, 7-6 (7-2), 6-0.

State Open Doubles Championship—Tyler Pomerance-Jordan Soifer, Westhill, def. Jake Greenwald-Jack Tooker, Staples, 6-2, 6-2.

2018 SEASON

Head Coach—Merc Evangelista, entering fifth year as head coach of varsity program.

Key Losses (8 graduated):

Brando Mello—#1 singles, team co-captain. Wei Yuan—#1 doubles, team co-captain. Ethan Hushin—#2 doubles. Caleb Wells.

Tyler Oaks.

RJ Miller.

Sam Lynes.

Team Captains:

Jeremy Myska (senior)—Singles, doubles.

Other Key Returners:

Brandon Zheng (junior)—Singles.

Maciej Kossuth (senior)—Singles.

Travis Lavigne (sophomore)—Singles.

Taegan Brochu (senior)—Doubles.

Mike Torres (junior)—Singles.

The Observer asked Evangelista the following questions about the upcoming season:

Observer—What were your overall thoughts about last season?

Evangelista—We graduated many seniors last year, and it’s difficult to replace the experience they brought to the team.

O—What did the program gain or accomplish?

E—Last year, we finally put a foundation in place for the Plainville boys tennis program, and what I expect from the athletes.

O—What can be taken from last season into this season?

E—Building a team takes time…sometimes, a couple of seasons to gain experience, in order to be competitive.

O—What stands out and is unique about this year’s team? What is the one big thing about this year’s team?

E—This team is young when it comes to experience and playing time.

O—What are going to be the keys to having a successful season?

E—Success will be measured in how much this team can learn from the growing pains it will face during the season. I truly believe that one has to fail, in order to succeed. But one has to learn and grow from failures, not just continue to make them.

O—What positions or areas of the playing field is the team strongest in?

E—We are obviously stronger at our one through three singles and one doubles with our returning players.

O—What positions or areas of the playing field does the team have to improve most?

E—We will have to improve at our skill level in all areas of our game. With lack of play comes lack of experience.

O—Are there any other major changes from last year, either to the league, schedule, team, or program in general?

E—We do not have a deep program this season.O—Why should people follow the team?E—It would be great to watch this team learn and grow as the season progresses. Baby steps will grow into larger strides as the season moves forward.

O—If you had to headline the upcoming season, what would it be?

E—Can this team overcome a lack of experience?

To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at bjennings@southingtonobserver.com.