Tennis battle comes to a close


Southington’s tennis seasons came to an end this week with one surviving boys tandem earning an exit from the state tournament, while three girls tested themselves against the top talent in Connecticut at the state open.

Ben and Jacob Chasse’ run through the Class LL brackets came to an end when they fell in the third round at Yale University in New Haven on Tuesday, May 31. The 15th-seeded Chasse twins lost to No. 2 Henry and Jack Johnson of Fairfield Warde, 6-1, 6-4.

“They played well against them,” said Southington coach Tony Mauro. “They got beat in the first set, but came back and came very close to winning the second set. Just for them to have done that is remarkable.”

After dropping the first set, Mauro said that the brother duo changed tactics heading into the second set. The Chasse twins defeated Lalith Gannavaram-Dave Marchenko of Trumbull, 6-0, 6-4, in the first round and Brendan Gallagher-Ryan Xu of Simsbury, 6-4, 5-7, 10-3, in the second round.

The loss marked the end of the boys’ season, but Mauro said that the team could be even stronger next spring.

The girls managed to qualify one singles player and their top doubles tandem into the state open. On Saturday, June 4, singles played at Conard High School with doubles down the road at Hall High School.

Angela Balaoing fell, 8-3, in the first round of the tournament to Carolyn Szwed of Farmington.

“Angela had a bit of a tough draw,” said Southington coach Robin Thompson. “Even if she had won, she had an uphill battle in the next round against the top seed from Darien.”

Lohneiss-Kavanagh advanced out of the first round before falling, 8-6, to No. 8 Sydney Higgins-Isabel Ortiz of Joel Barlow in the second round. The match was 6-6 at one point. Lohneiss-Kavanagh swept Jocelyn Campoverde-Karen Campoverde of Platt Tech, 8-0, in the first round.

“Sam and Kayla did pretty well,” said Thompson. “They had an opportunity to close out their second match and go to Yale, but they just fell a little short. They were right there. It was a good Joel Barlow team, and I think they underestimated Sam and Kayla, but they got the break at six-all and held serve to win.”

The day marked the end of the girls’ season. Thompson said the success could carry over to next spring.

“Four of our kids were totally brand new and two others had minimal experience,” she said. “We have the building blocks for next year. So hopefully with some offseason work and match play, these girls can step into the roles that will be open if they want them.”

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