By BRIAN JENNINGS
Although the 17th-seeded Lady Knights tennis team fell short, 5-2, in the qualifying round of the Class L tournament at No. 16 Wilton on Saturday, May 28, Southington coach Robin Thompson said that she was still very happy with the team’s level of play and ability to handle themselves in unbearable heat.
“We really competed, and I think we had a shot to actually take the match,” the coach said. “I think our level of play may have surprised Wilton. Once we were just left with the singles matches, I think it was a harder fight than they expected.”
Kristen Mathew and Abby Roy gave Southington their only two points of the match. Mathew won in straight sets over Kinsey Watson, 6-3, 6-2, and Roy triumphed in a super-tie break over Hanna Jung, 6-3, 4-6, 10-7.
“I hope that this gives them confidence for next year,” said Thompson. “I expect that they’ll be in different positions next year. They played solid players and I’m thrilled for them. I’m very proud of what they did. They put it to Wilton.”
Angela Balaoing and Natalia Gimenez both fell in straight sets.
Sam Lohneiss-Kayla Kavanagh, Molly Murphy-Carolyn Callahan, and Coral Tommervik-Sam Barmore lost in straight sets as well.
No. 1 singles Balaoing and the No. 1 doubles team of Lohneiss and Kavanagh qualified for the state open, which is scheduled to take place from Saturday, June 4 to Wednesday, June 8. Singles will play at Conard High School and doubles will play at Hall High School.
“Both of them have been in this situation before,” said Thompson. “They know what to expect and have the experience behind them. It will just be the draw that they initially get. They’re probably going to be in qualifying matches, but they have an opportunity to win those matches. It would be nice to see them go deep into the open.”
Regular season roundup
Earlier in the week in Monday, Southington hosted Wethersfield and swept the Eagles, 7-0.
Balaoing, Gimenez, Mathew, and Roy all won in straight sets. Balaoing and Roy dropped just three games each. Lohneiss-Kavanagh, Murphy-Callahan, and Tommervik-Barmore prevailed in straight sets as well.
A couple days later, the Knights completed their regular season after falling to Glastonbury at home, 7-0.
Gimenez played at No. 1 singles for the first time this season, but lost in straight sets. Balaoing, Mathew, and Roy suffered defeated in straight sets as well.
Lohneiss-Kavanagh, Murphy-Callahan, and Tommervik-Barmore also lost in straight sets.