NEW HAVEN >> If this was the final tennis match of his high school career, Foran’s Bradley Orban went out on a high note.
Orban captured his fourth straight Class M state championship, beating Berlin’s Dan Rombola 6-2, 6-2 at Yale University. It was the second straight year Orban beat Rombola in the final.
“Four Class Ms, two State Opens and made the finals (of the Open) my freshman year, I’m pretty happy,” Orban said. It was a banner day for the Southern Connecticut Conference. In addition to Orban, Xavier freshman Rich Ciamarra won the Class LL singles title, Guilford’s Luke Lemieux and Matt Murphy won the Class M doubles crown and Guilford (M) and Hand (L) won team championships.
Orban did not lose a regular-season match during his career until last month when he lost to Amity’s Jason Seidman and Hand’s Scott Rubinstein in succession.
“I guess it motivated me to finish off the year stronger,” Orban said. “That wasn’t necessarily the way I wanted to end my season. I’m very happy I finished strong.”
Orban is suffering from tennis elbow in his right arm. He said the injury occurred a few days ago. That’s why a third straight State Open title may be in jeopar
dy. He has to decide by today and the tournament begins Saturday.
“I was going to fight through it for this tournament,” Orban said. “I’m really indecisive right now.”
It’s been a pretty special first season for Ciamarra. Less than a week after leading the Falcons to their second straight Southern Connecticut Conference Division II title, Ciamarra, seeded fifth, returned to Yale and beat No. 2 seed Bryson Mosley 6-3, 6-0 in the Class LL singles final.
“It’s unbelievable. It’s just hard work,” said Ciamarra, a Southington resident. “It’s Mr. (Matt) Haywood’s last year (as Xavier coach). I wanted to do it for him.”
Ciamarra was coming off a win over top-seeded Jason Seidman of Amity, the defending champion, in the semifinal on Tuesday. Ciamarra advanced in three sets, including a pair of tiebreakers. Seidman won in three sets during their regular-season matchup.
Guilford won its first team title sine 2010. A big reason for that was Lemieux and Murphy, the top seed, mowing down No. 3 Mike Arciero and Mike Thramann of Avon 6-0, 6-3.
Lemieux started the year at No. 1 singles, but then switched to doubles. He had played with several different teammates before entering the Class M tournament with Murphy.
“My game overall is more fit for doubles, Lemieux said. “(Coach Andy Raucci) was like, ‘I would like you to play doubles (in the state tournament). What are your thoughts on that?’ I was like, ‘I’d love to.’”
Said Raucci: “Luke is the best doubles player I’ve ever had by far and probably one of the best tennis players to come out of Guilford.”
Avon finished second in the team competition to Guilford.
Hand shared the Class L team title with Fairfield Warde a year ago, but beat out the Mustangs this year. Scott Rubinstein reached the L singles final for the third time in the past four years, but lost for the third time to Wilton’s Noah Farrell, who claimed his fourth straight crown.