Westhill wins first FCIAC boys tennis title since 1978

WILTON — The Westhill Vikings are the FCIAC boys tennis champions.

Let that sink in. It hasn’t happened in a while — 44 years to be exact.

Freshman Ryan Karam’s three-set victory at No. 2 singles sealed the deal for Westhill, which defeated Staples 4-1 and claimed its first FCIAC championship since 1978 Tuesday at the Westhill courts.

“1978, absolutely, that’s a long time,” Westhill coach Arthur Berthiaux said. “What makes it very good this year is every player is very into the team. Every player likes each other, they are friendly all together, the singles players are very steady and the doubles players are very united, so that mix makes a great team.”

After fourth-seeded Westhill took a 3-1 lead, and the last three matches were in third sets, players began to gather along the fence where the No. 1 and 2 singles matches were being played.

Westhill’s Rohan Suryawanshi and Staples’ Robbie Daus were early in the third set at No. 1 due to a delay, but Karam was motoring along against Staples’ Luke Brodsky at No. 2.

“It was very, very intense,” Karam said. “Everything is on the line, both teams are great, and just to win it like that felt great.”

When Karam took the final point to win 6-4, 2-6, 6-3, and clinch the title, he let out a yell as his teammates stormed through the gate to celebrate.

The Vikings (16-2) also got some revenge for last year, as Staples shut out Westhill 7-0 in the Class LL final.

The third-seeded Wreckers (15-3) are a measuring stick for FCIAC greatness, appearing in 12 straight conference finals. They’ve been runner-up the past two years, first behind Darien in 2021 and now Westhill.

This time, illness hit the Wreckers and while most players were able to play in the final, the team was not at 100% according to coach Kris Hrisovulos.

“It was a competitive match — they’re a tough match-up,” Hrisovulos said. “We played our hearts out. Unfortunately, we’ve been kind of bed-ridden the past couple of days and not at 100%. I got all I could ask from these guys: To play with heart and fight.”

“(Westhill) is a tough team and they’ve come a long way.”

Staples’ lone win was actually the first match completed. Tighe Brunetti, typically the Wreckers’ No. 1 singles player, shifted to doubles and won alongside Noah Wolff 6-1, 6-0 against Justin Bilenker and Arjun Batra.

In singles, No. 3 Arjun Anand and No. 4 Vishal Nayak both scored straight-sets wins to put the Vikings in front at 2-1.

Westhill’s No. 3 doubles tandem of Vadaanya Palawal and Rohan Sahu also won in two sets, putting the Vikings on the brink.

Karam then brought the championship back to Westhill after 44 years.

“(1978), that’s a long time for sure,” Karam said. “Our team energy, our team chemistry really did the job for us today. It feels so great just to get our hands on that trophy.”

david.stewart@hearstmediact.com; @dstewartsports


Singles: Ryan Karam (WH) def. Luke Brodsky 6-4, 2-6, 6-3; Arjun Anand (WH) def. Matthew Chiang 6-0, 6-0; Vishal Nayak (WH) def. Jared Even 6-1, 6-0; Doubles: Tighe Brunetti/Noah Wolff (S) def. Justin Bilenker/Arjun Batra 6-1, 6-0; Vadaanya Palawal/Rohan Sahu (WH) def. Lucas Cebellos-Cala/Clint Graham 6-4, 6-2. Records: Westhill 16-2; Staples 15-3