By BRIAN JENNINGS
Of course, all teams were at a disadvantage coming into the season. Nobody was allotted many opportunities to prepare physically with a late snow and chill that drew out the winter.
But after splitting the week with a win and a loss—with a lineup that features new faces in every position—Southington girls tennis coach Robin Thompson said that she thinks her Lady Knights are still pretty close to where they want to be.
“We have spent some time off court because of weather talking about strategies and an evaluation of strengths and weaknesses of opponents,” said Thompson. “I see players doing some of that, so that’s a real positive.”
Not having as many days on court under the team’s belt as they normally would have still comes as a concern to Thompson though.
“We haven’t been able to drill in the manner to practice different things that we’ve talked about verbally,” the coach said. “Hopefully, the weather’s now going to start to turn in our favor, and we’ll be able to actually demonstrate on court.”
Loss vs. South Windsor
APRIL 5—The Knights just missed out on a season-opening win after they fell by a point, 4-3, to South Windsor at home on Wednesday. Last year’s match against South Windsor came down to No. 1 doubles, but Southington was on the winning end of that contest.
“Three to four and a tough team right out of the gate,” said Thompson. “Maybe I need to think hard about what time of year I schedule them. I’d like to be on the other side of this, but we gave it a good fight.”
The match was all squared at 3-3 with No. 2 doubles remaining on court. However, Sam Barmore and Joelle Stublarec just fell short in a third-set tiebreaker, 6-7 (2), 6-4, 7-5, to Kelly Kozon and Payal Shah.
“There were opportunities for both teams to close it out in two,” the coach said. “We had the early break winning the first-set tiebreaker, so I thought that the momentum was on our side. But credit to them, they made some adjustments.”
No. 2 singles Abby Murphy and No. 3 doubles Safiyah Pathan and Chantelle Gimenez each won in straight sets. No. 1 doubles Abby Roy and Coral Tommervik prevailed with two sets that went to tiebreakers, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (3).
No. 1 singles Kristen Mathew, No. 3 singles Molly Murphy, and No. 4 singles Carolyn Callahan each lost in straight sets.
Win vs. Berlin
APRIL 7—A couple days later, the Knights bounced back from Wednesday’s loss and earned their first win of the season with a 5-2 victory over Berlin at home.
“It’s still early in the season, and I still see things that we can work on,” said Thompson. “But given the fact that some matches were interrupted because of rain, I’m happy that we were able to get back on the court and finish the job that we started.”
No. 2 singles A. Murphy, No. 3 singles M. Murphy, No. 4 singles Callahan, No. 2 doubles Barmore and Stublarec, and No. 3 doubles Pathan and Gimenez each won in straight sets. A. Murphy and M. Murphy did not drop a single game.
No. 1 singles Mathew and No. 1 doubles Roy and Tommervik each fell in straight sets.
The Knights will be back on the court this week when they host Mercy (1-1) on Thursday, April 13 in their lone match of the week.
For this week’s box scores, click here: (southingtonobserver.com/2017/04/11/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-april-14-edition). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.