The Blue Knights tennis team advanced just one doubles team in the Class LL tournament at Yale University in New Haven on Saturday, May 28 after entering a total of four singles and three doubles.
Ben and Jake Chasse teamed up together for the first time since falling in the first round of last year’s state tournament, and the No. 15 tandem remains as the only Southington tennis players still standing.
The Chasse twins took down Lalith Gannavaram and David Marchenko of Trumbull in straight sets, 6-0, 6-4 in the lower bracket of first round. The tandem then advanced to the third round after defeating Brendan Gallagher and Ryan Xu of Simsbury in a super-tie break, 6-4, 5-7, 10-3.
“In the afternoon, they played probably the best doubles match that they had ever played in their lives,” said Southington coach Tony Mauro. “They had nice intensity and were winning the big points. They were playing out of their minds and were really exceptional, making great plays.”
The Chasse brothers didn’t play their second match until hours later though, forced to head indoors into the stifling heat.
“They were tired and didn’t play as well as they did in their first match,” the coach said. “You could see that they were trying so hard, but couldn’t put it together. They looked like they were frazzled. It was a mix of the weather and the long day.”
The CIAC reported that the tournament was able to play a total of 114 matches on Saturday.
Other Southington doubles that entered the tournament included Kevin Chudy-Jon Kryzanski and Kays Cetin-Nate Zmarlicki. Both team lost in straight sets in the first round.
Southington singles that entered the tournament included No. 10 Ian Lawrence, Erik Kryzanski, Matt Balaoing, and Mike Balaoing. Lawrence defeated Donald Ciampi of Xavier in a tiebreaker, 8-7 (5), in the opening round, but fell to No. 12 Brandon Howard of Hamden in straight sets, 6-0, 6-2, in the first round. Erik Kryzanski lost in an opening-round tiebreaker, and the Balaoing brothers fell in straight sets in the first round.
Ben and Jake Chasse are scheduled to play No. 2 Henry Johnson and Jack Johnson of Fairfield Warde in the third round at Yale on Tuesday, May 31.
“It was not surprising that they advanced,” said Mauro. “They’re very good competitors. They’re very good all around and very mature.
Currently, Staples (16) leads the tournament, followed by Amity (13), Greenwich (13), Fairfield Prep (9), Ridgefield (9), and Westhill (9).
Regular season roundup
Earlier in the week, Southington shut out New Britain, 7-0. Mike Balaoing, Matt Balaoing, Ben Chasse, and Jake Chasse all won in straight sets. Ben Chasse did not drop a game.
Erik Kryzanski-Mike Listro, Chudy-Jon Kryzanski, and Nick Ottalagana-Zmarlicki all won in straight sets as well. Chudy and Jon Kryzanski went undefeated in their win.
The Knights capped off their regular season with a 6-1 victory over RHAM in Hebron the next day.
Mike Balaoing, Matt Balaoing, Ben Chasse, and Jake Chasse all won in straight sets. Jake Chasse dropped just two games. Erik Kryzanski-Chudy and Zmarlicki-Jon Kryzanski took their matches in straight sets. Erik Kryzanski and Chudy did not drop a game. Lawrence and Listro fell in straight sets.
To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.