By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Lady Knights split this past week with a win and their first loss of the season. They just got one of their key starters back from injuries and are working inexperienced girls into the lineup, but Southington coach Robin Thompson said that overall, she is pretty happy with how most of the starting lineup looks right now.
“Hopefully, our loss is only one of only a couple more that we’ll see in the loss column,” said Thompson. “Hopefully, the girls learn with every match we get, so that it’s just another day of tennis.”
Thompson said that her players that have experience are bringing it to the table. The girls that are in different roles that might be moving between singles and doubles or are new to the starting lineup are experiencing a learning curve.
“Abby Murphy knocked it out of the park, but she’s an anomaly,” said Thompson. “Joelle’s done a super job moving from No. 3 doubles at the end of last season right up to No. 4 singles. Hopefully, this opens the eyes of a few other girls.”
The Knights will be back on the courts this week when they host East Hartford (0-1) on Monday, April 16 and then head out on the road to divisional Glastonbury (2-0) on Friday, April 20. Southington is 2-1.
The Knights began the week on Wednesday, April 11 with a 7-0 sweep at Enfield.
No 1 singles Abby Murphy, No. 2 singles Coral Tommervik, No. 3 singles Molly Murphy, and No. 4 singles Joelle Stublarec won in straight sets. The Murphy sisters won their matches without dropping a game.
In doubles, No. 1 Carolyn Callahan-Chantelle Gimenez, No. 2 Emma Wojcicki-Kate Hardy, and No. 3 Madison Beaudoin-Samantha Barmore won in straight sets as well. Callahan-Gimenez won their match without dropping a game.
It came down to the final match, but the Knights couldn’t hold on and suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday after falling, 4-3, to Mercy at home. The match came down to No. 2 singles, as Tommervik fell in straight sets to Lorenza Inserra, 6-4, 6-2.
Thompson said that they remember Inserra from last season. She said that Inserra improved, not only in her skills, but in her mental approach to the game as well.
“She’s well-coached, and Coach (Miguel) Garcia is well-known,” said Thompson. “He’s smart and a man of the game. He knows what weaknesses we have just by watching. I know exactly what he went after, and it worked because it was pretty evident.”
Southington’s three wins on the day came from No. 1 singles Abby Murphy, No. 4 singles Stublarec over Jordyn Belcourt, 7-5, 6-0, and No. 2 doubles Barmore-Gianna Wadowski over Marie Emerson-Meg Brodeur, 7-6 (6), 6-1. Abby Murphy won her match without dropping a game and has yet to drop a game on the season.
“Abby has just gotten that much better,” said Thompson. “She’s just cool under pressure.”
No. 3 singles Molly Murphy, No. 1 doubles Callahan-Gimenez, and No. 3 doubles Wojcicki-Hardy fell in straight sets. Callahan-Gimenez almost sent their match to three sets, but dropped the second set, 7-6 (1).
For more in depth coverage, see our weekly print edition. To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.