New London — St. Bernard, playing three straight out-of-division teams to begin the high school boys' tennis season, started out 0-3.
But Saints' coach Tim Kolnaski, whose team is now 3-4 overall after Wednesday's 4-3 victory over New London in another interdivisional match, doesn't see any reason why his team can't repeat as Eastern Connecticut Conference Small Division champ.
St. Bernard shared the Small Division title with Lyman Memorial last season. The Saints are 2-1 in the division this year, falling 5-2 to Lyman. The teams play again on May 15.
"We had a few bumps in the beginning. We played Stonington, Waterford, NFA; we started in a hole," Kolnaski said. "What I like is all the young guys are working so hard, improving tremendously."
Against New London, St. Bernard swept the singles behind Nicholas Zuczek, Chris Renaud, Kevin Peters and Kevin Teskey. Zuczek, a sophomore returning as the Saints No. 1 singles player, was the No. 3 seed in last season's ECC tournament.
"He should be up there again, hands down," Kolnaski said of Zuczek. "He's a big hitter, a lot of power, and very quick."
New London (2-5) swept the doubles.
In other matches:
• Avery Oefinger won in three sets at No. 4 singles, 4-6, 6-1, 6-0, helping lift Stonington to a 4-3 victory over Ledyard in the ECC Medium Division. John Skogerboe and Alan Carroll also won singles matches for Stonington (4-2, 3-1) and the Bears got a doubles win from Avish Patel and John Dong at No. 2. Brian Healy won his singles match for Ledyard (3-3, 2-2).
• Morgan White, Brendan White and Ethan Fenton all won their respective singles matches for Old Lyme as it handed Portland its first loss of the season, 5-2, in the Shoreline Conference. The doubles teams of Brian Buttrick and Luke Grabowski and Josh Krasney and Charlie Dahlke also won for the Wildcats (9-1). Portland is 9-1.
• Jacob Hensch, Aaron Lord, Zack Peter and Brian Harris all won their singles matches as NFA beat Killingly 5-2. NFA is 3-2.
• Fitch beat Griswold 7-0, as Stefan Jones, Srini Srinangam, Will Baldwin and Hunter Gillen won singles matches for the Falcons (5-3).
• Sam Buffum, Jon Powell, Adam Verhoeff and Jenner Foster won singles matches in Williams School's 7-0 sweep of St. Andrew's School.
• Alexa Massad and Andrea He won singles matches as St. Bernard picked up its first win of the season, 5-2 over New London. The doubles teams of Grace Kirkpatrick and Brittney Walenta, Audrey Jones and Kaitlyn Berkel and Julia Scott and Jessica Xu all won for the Saints (1-4). Lillian James and Susane Ortiz won their singles matches for New London (0-7).
• Annika Burgess, Chloe Slater, Caroline Kam and Mollie Kam all won their singles matches in straight sets in Stonington's 7-0 victory over Ledyard in the ECC Medium. The Bears are 7-0, 5-0. Ledyard is 2-4, 0-3.
• East Lyme swept singles play, beating Lyman Memorial 6-1. Joan Li, Sophia Shi, Melinda Li and Julia Sokolovska won their matches for the Vikings (6-1).