By BRIAN JENNINGS
It was another lopsided week for the Lady Knight tennis team, and inconsistency has been the name of the game for them thus far on the season.
Southington coach Robin Thompson has been tinkering with the doubles lineups since the season started, and after splitting this past week with a win and a loss, she said that she thinks she’s got it with new combinations at No. 2 and 3 doubles that will require some time to get adjusted.
“We just felt that we needed to make a change,” said Thompson. “The best doubles teams are good at net, so we’re trying to get our combinations there. We’re hoping this will help us get to that place.”
With new doubles tandems, there are still a couple of girls that are newer to varsity play. Thompson said that the more experience they gain with time, the better the matches will play out for the team.
She said that those newer girls that have either been in a tiebreaker or a third set are learning how to handle pressure situations. Southington athletic director Greg Ferry offers a mental conditioning program called to the student-athletes, called “Five to Thrive,” and it’s helped those girls handle those pressure situations, according to Thompson.
She said that she’s always tried to coach around mental conditioning because it’s huge in every sport, but maybe a little more so in tennis.
“You have girls that are either by themselves or just with one other person, and it’s not a controlled environment,” said Thompson. “I have very limited opportunities to coach, so I tend to spend time with the line that you think can get the point across.”
The Knights will be back on the courts this week with contests against Maloney (4-3), Berlin (0-8), Manchester (1-4), and Tolland (2-2). Southington is 4-3 overall and 0-2 in the CCC Central Region.
The Knights began the week on Monday, April 23 where a fourth shutout of the season lifted them to their fourth win of the season in a 7-0 sweep of New Britain at home.
In singles, No. 1 Abby Murphy, No. 2 Coral Tommervik, No. 3 Molly Murphy, and No. 4 Joelle Stublarec won in straight sets. Abby Murphy and Tommervik prevailed in their matches without surrendering a game.
In doubles, No. 1 Carolyn Callahan-Chantelle Gimenez, No. 2 Gianna Wadowski-Madison Beaudoin, and No. 3 Emma Wojcicki-Kate Hardy won in straight sets.
Farmington’s singles were too much to handle, and their pairs managed to outlast three-set matches to sweep doubles, as the Knights capped off the week on Thursday with their third loss of the season after falling, 5-2, to the Indians at home.
No. 1 singles Abby Murphy and No. 3 singles Molly Murphy came away with Southington’s only wins, and both prevailed in straight sets. No. 1 doubles Callahan-Gimenez fell in three sets to Katie Powell-Joanne Le, 6-3, 4-6, 7-5. No. 3 doubles Wadowski-Wojcicki fell in three sets as well, only they battled a third-set tiebreaker with Hhaoyi Wang-Ava Ferrari, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5). No. 2 singles Tommervik, No. 4 singles Stublarec, and No. 2 doubles Samantha Barmore-Beaudoin lost in straight sets.
“The two lines that went to a third set were actually up in the third set,” said Thompson. “We just didn’t close. That one got away from us, and I’d like to do that one over.”
For more in depth coverage, see our weekly print edition. To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.