WATERBURY >> Leading 4-2 after the singles matches, the Torrington Red Raiders needed one more win the clinch the match and head coach Mark Moulton knew exactly who he could count on, his third doubles pair, Ethan Barbieri and Nick Mancini.
“They’re a tough at third doubles,” Moulton said. “When we need one win, I figure our third doubles will get it.”
They did exactly that winning their doubles match first, 8-5, to clinch the match, 6-3.
“They know we can take it home,” Barbieri, a junior, said. “We work well together; we’ve been playing together for three years.”
The duo got off to shaky start; Barbieri was hitting his shots long and wide and he running all over the court.
“I just had to talk to him and tell him to relax,” Mancini, a senior, said.
After the regained their form, with Mancini in the front and Barbieri roaming the back they couldn’t be stopped.
“I’m better at the back and he’s better by the net,” Barbieri said. “He’s intimidating.”
“They play well together,” Crosby head coach Ryan McDonald said. “It’s tough to beat them.”
The Red Raiders came out firing early at Fulton Park, which has five courts.
The first three singles matches to finish were all easy Red Raider wins, by Seth Gesmondi, 8-2, Zach Paniati, 8-3, and Mancini, 8-2, giving them an early 3-0 lead, with three more singles matches to play.
“I was forcing him (Norbert Jakova) to make mistakes,” said Paniati who is 3-0 on the season. “I put the ball where I knew he was weak.”
“I was placing the ball really well,” said Gesmondi who improves to 2-2 on the season. “More consistent and I took control.”
Both Barbieri and first singles Mike Louchen led in their matches before losing, Barbieri to Crosby’s Belamn Soto, 9-7, and Louchen to Thaddaeus Vaichus in a tiebreakers, 9-8 (8-6).
Collin Genovese then won his match easily against Mario Sojati, 8-2, giving Torrington a 4-2 lead going into doubles.
“I was hoping that we would win five of the six,” Moulton said. “But realistically this is what I expected.”
Shortly after Barbieri and Mancini clinched the match, Louchen and Paniati finished up their 8-5 doubles win and in the final doubles match Gesmondi and Genovese lost 8-6.
Torrington returns to action on Thursday morning at 11 a.m. when they play host to Wolcott who they lost to on Saturday, 8-1.
“We were without one of our starters last time,” said Moulton of the teams’ earlier loss to Wolcott. “We’re hoping to get revenge.”
Torrington 6 Crosby 3
At Fulton Park (Waterbury)
Singles: Thaddaeus Vaichus (C) def. Mike Louchen (T), 9-8 (8-6); Seth Gesmondi (T) def. Matt Dahdah, (C), 8-2; Zach Paniati (T) def. Norbert Jakova (C), 8-3; Belman Soto (C) def. Ethan Barbieri (T), 9-7; Nick Mancini (T) def. Gabriel Pacheco (C), 8-2; Collin Genovese (T) def. Mario Sojati (C), 8-2. Doubles: Louchen/Panitati (T) def. Vaichus/Dahdah (C), 8-5; Jakova/Sojati (C) def. Gesmondi/Genovese (T), 8-6; Barbieri/Mancini (T) def. Soto/Pacheco, 8-5.
Records: Torrington 3-1 Crosby 0-2