It’s an SCC boys tennis four-peat for Hand

The Hand boys tennis team defeated Fairfield Prep 5-2 to win its fourth consecutive SCC tournament championship at Amity High in Woodbridge on Tuesday.

The Hand boys tennis team defeated Fairfield Prep 5-2 to win its fourth consecutive SCC tournament championship at Amity High in Woodbridge on Tuesday.

Joe Morelli / Hearst Connecticut Media

WOODBRIDGE — The Hand boys tennis team secured the Southern Connecticut championship a little more than an hour into its match against Fairfield Prep Tuesday.

Sebastien Lowy was aware of the victory as his match was still going on. But the co-captain and No. 1 singles player from Hand wanted to add to the total and to complete his career in league play on a high note.

Soon, everyone was focused on Lowy’s match, the last one still gong. The third set against Prep’s Luke Levanet was determined to be a 10-point tiebreaker. It needed more than that.

Lowy prevailed 12-10, adding another point to the final total, a 5-2 victory for the top-seeded Tigers.

“It was certainly personal,” said Lowy, the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. “I’m just a competitive person. I really wanted to finish my SCC career on a strong note, finish out with a win. Luckily, I was able to play a little bit better and grind out a win. … This team match was probably the one I wanted to win the most.”

It is the fourth consecutive league championship for the Tigers (19-1), who last lost a final, ironically, to Prep in 2017. It’s Hand’s seventh title overall.

Hand coach Dawn Fagerquist wasn’t sure what to expect after the departure of Josh Israel, a two-time New Haven Register Area MVP, last season. The Tigers came into the season with a long regular-season winning streak, but still some questions.

Avon snapped that winning streak at 75 on April 18. But the Tigers got stronger as the year wore on and when it came time for the SCC tournament, Hand, as usual, didn’t disappoint.

“There were days I didn’t think we’d beat Prep again, or Amity or Notre Dame (West Haven),” Fagerquist said. “But these guys dug deep and really went after it. I rode on their coattails this year.”

Lowy subbed in for Israel at No. 1 last season a handful of times, so he knew what the pressure-cooker of playing in the top spot meant.

After the CIAC team and individual tournaments, Lowy will attend Yale, looking to possibly major in chemistry.

In other matches, Elliott Booth, Max Gulla and Matt Vetter swept the No. 2 through 4 singles matches.

“I’d take our No. 4 singles against any guy in the entire state. That’s how good he is,” Lowy said about Vetter.

Wil deChabert, the other co-captain, teamed with Will Fumax at No. 1 doubles to win in straight sets. No. 2 seed Prep won No. 2 and 3 doubles.

“We knew we were up against it. They beat us a couple times during the year and they were a little short-handed to be quite honest,” Prep coach Adam Mirsky said.

Prep has virtually everyone returning next season. So it looks like the Jesuits should be the SCC favorite in 2023.

“We are losing one or two good players, but our strength is our depth. I think we are one of the deepest teams in New England,” Mirsky said. “We expect to do very well.”

But to get there, they have to get through that team from Madison first.; @nhrJoeMorelli

Hand 5, Fairfield Prep 2

(at Woodbridge)

Singles: Sebastien Lowy (DH) def Luke Levant 2-6 6-2 12-10; Elliott Booth (DH) def Harrisson Lent 6-2 6-1; Max Gulla (DH) def Colin Sullivan 6-1 6-1; Matt Vetter (DH) def Vishnu Kumar 6-1 6-0.

Doubles: Wil deChabert/Will Fumax (DH) def Charlie Fabro/Gfriff Harding 6-2 6-2; Matt Kelly/Robbie Donahue (FP)def Robbie Washburne/Patrick Hennessey (DH) 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 ; Jason Gong/Thomas Nardone(FP) def Ethan Speerili/Will Dodd 6-3 6-1.