Southington girls open May with a three-game losing streak

Tennis - SHSBy BRIAN JENNINGS
STAFF WRITER

The Lady Knights (7-4) walked into May with just one loss, but left the first week with three more after diving headfirst into the tough, conference schedule. Southington coach Robin Thompson had said that May would be the toughest stretch of the season, and rain in late April didn’t help.

“What it will come down to is how we handle the tougher opponents and how the newer girls to the lineup handle those situations,” said Thompson. “We lost that whole week, and we did the best we could to get in a practice.”

Southington hosted its only home match of the week on Monday, May 9, but got edged out by Conard, 4-3.

Angela Balaoing, Natalia Gimenez, and Abby Roy all won in straight sets. Kristin Mathew fell in a third-set tiebreaker, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (7), but the Knights were swept in tight doubles play.

The Knights traveled to St Joseph’s College in West Hartford a couple days later, where they suffered their second-straight 4-3 loss to NW Catholic.

After escaping a first-set tiebreaker, Mathew dropped the second set, but took the third set, 7-6 (8), 1-6, 6-3. Roy also prevailed in a first-set tiebreaker, dropping the second set, but taking the third by just dropping a game, 7-6 (4), 5-7, 6-1.

Coral Tommervik-Sam Barmore was the only Southington doubles team to win, taking their match in straight sets.

Southington returned to West Hartford on Thursday and were handed their fourth loss of the season at the hands of Hall, 5-2.

Balaoing won in straight sets, and Roy remained undefeated on the year by triumphing in three sets after dropping the first, 5-7, 6-3, 7-5. Once again, Southington was swept in doubles play despite a number of hard-fought matches.

“I hope that this experience helps us to build for next year,” said Thompson. “I still think we have an opportunity to make the state tournament. We just won’t have the kind of ranking that we had last year. How that plays out for us is still kind of early to tell. We’ll see how it goes.”

With six matches remaining on their regular season schedule, the Knights have to win two more matches to clinch a berth in the Class L tournament.

The Knights will look to end their three-game losing streak this week against Simsbury (7-0), EO Smith (6-3), Manchester (3-6), and Avon (4-5). Southington is 19th in Class L and 0-2 in the Blue Division of the CCC Central.

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