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Senior captain Quinn Dallai is in his second year playing No. 1 doubles for the North Haven boys’ tennis team. Quinn and his partner Tanner Powell have an unblemished record of 7-0 on the campaign. (Photo courtesy of Quinn Dallai )
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Quinn Dallai has been a doubles player for the North Haven boys’ tennis team since stepping on the court as a freshman. After playing No. 3 doubles in his first year, Quinn was promoted to the No. 1 doubles position and has competed in the top spot during each of past two seasons. Now a senior captain, Quinn and his partner, sophomore Tanner Powell, are off to a rocket start with their record of 7-0 this spring.
“Last year was my first year playing with him. I played with Tanner in soccer, so we had previous chemistry, which I think really helped us out, because we were already familiar with each other,” Quinn says. “This year, we definitely have an advantage, because we’re used to how each other plays and know where we’ll be on the court.”
Head Coach Don Hurley says that Quinn and Powell have been completely in sync this season. The synergy between the two has yielded victories against quality doubles duos from Notre Dame-West Haven and Branford. Those wins helped the Indians defeat each of those opponents for the first time in recent memory.
“They work as a team. They know what the other team is doing and anticipate their moves and get into position really well to take on oncoming shots. We had not beaten Notre Dame or Branford since Quinn has been on the team, and we won both of those games this year,” Coach Hurley says. “Quinn has great net coverage, and he’s just cool, calm, and collected. He’s very intelligent and a team player, with the team always coming first.”
The team aspect is critical for Quinn. The senior enjoys fostering a positive atmosphere among the Indians in his capacity as a captain.
“My freshman year on the soccer team, I was able to be captain for the JV team, and that’s where I started to develop my role as a leader. Now, I’m fine-tuning those skills,” Quinn says. “This season, I was super excited to fill that role again. I love being able to keep the team morale up. It kind of just comes naturally to me.”
Quinn will typically give his teammates some advice before they take the court. He also provides words of encouragement to help them get through the grind.
“The way it works is my coach will put on the [top three singles players] and No. 1 doubles, so I’m able to cheer on the teams that play after us. That really helps them out when you go court to court,” says Quinn. “Even a small acknowledgment on the sidelines can help the team push through.”
When it comes to his matches, Quinn makes sure that he covers his own end of the court, while getting a big boost from the person who’s competing alongside him.
“I’ve always gravitated toward working as a team. I like the communication aspect, but I also think it’s important to have personal responsibility,” Quinn says. “Doing my job first, I like to kind of get energy and positivity from the partner I’m playing with.”
Quinn says he made a great decision when he signed up to play tennis at North Haven. He plans to continue playing the sport for years to come.
“One of the things coach always tells the team is this is a sport we’re going to have for life. He still plays with his friends, and he’s inspired me to play throughout my entire adult life,” says Quinn. “It’s just a great way to get out there and have fun. It’s a great social game, and I look forward to what it brings me in the future.”
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