SPRINGFIELD, NJ — This preview is part of a series that was slated to run and highlight members of the Spring sports teams at Jonathan Dayton High School. Without sports of any kind in the picture this spring, TAPinto Springfield will still be running the previews as a way to highlight the key performers who had their upcoming seasons stolen by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In March, the Jonathan Dayton High School boys’ tennis team optimistically took to the courts. Coaches Jill Maged and Jen Mortensen were excited by the increase in player turnout.

The Bulldogs’ roster grew to twelve, consisting of three seniors (Matt Mlawski, Brandon Wohl, and Thomas Vicente), two juniors (Dexter Kennedy and José Sunción), and six freshmen (Jake Alkon, Sebastien Bazizi, Allan Jean-Baptiste, Jon Mlawski, Alan Ostrovsky, and Aadi Pandey).

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All but the freshmen are returners to varsity. The team enjoyed several practices in preparation of the tennis season prior to school closures. During that time, the team bonded, getting to know each other for the first time across grade levels, making ties from Dayton itself and the UCVTS campuses. 

The Bulldogs are part of the Mountain division of the Union County Conference. The team is optimistic it can improve upon the 3-13 record from 2018-2019 season. 

Last year, Matt Mlawski made it to the quarter finals of the Union County Tournament at second singles. He also earned Honorable Mention at second singles for the conference. In preseason, the returners demonstrated notable improvements in their game play from last season.

A team stand-out during preseason was freshman Alan Ostrovsky who quickly moved up the challenge match ladder and secured the first singles position. With a good balance of experience and youth, the Dayton boys’ tennis team will continue to maintain their level of athleticism as we all move forward during this time. 

We know, that as Dayton athletes, they are accepting of these challenges and despite our current situation they are making the best of their time; training on their own and preparing for a  return, whether that be this season or the next.