By BRIAN JENNINGS
A 6-1 win at Avon to close out the week qualified the Lady Knight tennis team for the Class L tournament for the 12th-straight year, making them the fifth Southington team to make the state tournament this spring.
Southington coach Robin Thompson has been around for half of that streak, but she said that the accomplishment talks to the kids that Southington has had through the program over the years.
“We’ve had kids with and without tennis backgrounds, as well as athletes and non-athletes,” the coach said. “Typically, we always get a great bunch of kids, and they make us successful.”
The Knights will look to improve their seeding in the state tournament this week with matches against Simsbury (9-0), Bristol Central (6-4), and Pomperaug (12-3). Simsbury is currently tied for first with Staples (17-0) and South Windsor (12-0) in Class L. Southington is currently 9-4 overall.
Win at Conard
MAY 8—The Knights began the week with a 6-1 victory at Conard on Monday.
No. 1 singles Kristen Mathew, No. 2 singles Abby Roy, No. 3 single Molly Murphy, No. 4 singles Carolyn Callahan won in straight sets. No. 1 doubles Abby Roy and Coral Tommervik, and No. 3 doubles Chantelle Gimenez and Joelle Stublarec won in straight sets as well.
No. 2 doubles Sam Barmore and Safiyah Pathan lost in a third-set tiebreaker to Conard’s Kaylee D’Amato and Lauren Jacobs, 7-5, 3-6, 7-6 (8). Barmore sustained an injury in the match and is currently out recovering.
Loss vs. NW Catholic
MAY 10—A couple days later, the Knights dropped their fourth match of the season after being edged out by a point, 4-3, to NW Catholic at home. The match was tied at 3-3 and came down to No. 3 singles, but Molly Murphy couldn’t hold on in the third set, falling to NW Catholic’s Anna Deneen, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4.
“Hopefully, it’s a learning experience for Molly and all the other girls that watched,” said Thompson. “There was a lot on the line. You could tell that both players were tired, and they were just trying to fight through it.”
Southington’s three wins on the day came from No. 2 Abby Murphy, No. 2 doubles Pathan and Nebeeka Saha, and No. 3 doubles Gimenez and Stublarec. Both pairs won in straight sets. Pathan and Saha shut out their opponents, 7-6 (0), 6-1, in a first-set tiebreaker.
No. 1 singles Mathew, No. 3 singles Callahan, and No. 1 doubles Roy and Tommervik lost in straight sets.
Win at Avon
MAY 12—The Knights closed out the week by clinching a postseason berth with a 6-1 triumph at Avon on Friday.
No. 2 singles Abby Murphy, No. 3 singles Molly Murphy, and No. 4 singles Callahan won in straight sets. Abby Murphy improved to 12-1 on the season with her win.
No. 1 doubles Roy and Tommervik and No. 2 doubles Pathan and Saha won in straight sets as well. Pathan and Saha did not surrender a single game.
No. 3 doubles Gimenez and Stublarec won by forfeit. No. 1 singles Mathew lost in straight sets to Avon’s SeSe Nguyen, 6-3, 7-6 (5).
For this week’s box scores, click here: (www.southingtonobserver.com/2017/05/16/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-may-19-edition). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.