By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Blue Knight tennis team went 2-1 this past week and triumphed in “the match of the year,” as Southington coach Tony Mauro called it, against a team that was evenly matched against.
But it wasn’t enough to satisfy Mauro since the week ended against their sixth opponent this season that didn’t have enough players to field a full team.
That’s a problem as Mauro tries to get ready for the postseason.
“Not one of these teams had the minimal courtesy to even notify me ahead of time that they would be appearing with less than 10 players,” said Mauro. “It’s frustrating because the least they could do is give you a heads-up the day before. They stated that they were forfeiting No. 3 doubles when the rule clearly states that forfeit for a lack of players shall begin with the No. 4 singles player…then the No. 3 singles player…etc.”
On the other hand, Southington’s top player returned to the courts without missing a single match after scaring teammates with an injury the week before.
The Knights (11-4) will be back on the courts this week when they close out the regular season with contests against South Windsor (12-4) on Tuesday, May 22 and Platt (2-10) on Thursday, May 24.
Win at Conard
MAY 14—The Chieftains led three matches to one, needing one more line to close out the contest. No. 3 singles
Andrew Kudla and No. 3 doubles Mike Kwok-Marek Kryzanski rallied in super tiebreakers to knot the overall score of the match at three all.
The sage was set for No. 1 doubles Kevin Chudy-Jon Kryzanski to clinch the match for Southington with a win in straight sets, 6-2, 6-1, over Kyle Armstrong-Yash Nair, as the Knights began the week on Monday by edging Conard by a point, 4-3, on the road.
Kudla defeated Graham Douglas, 5-7, 6-2, (10-5), and Kwok-Marek Kryzanski defeated Alex Almazan-Tom Dowd, 6-3, 2-6, (10-3). No. 4 singles Tyler Heidgerd prevailed in straight sets. No 1 singles Matt Balaoing, No. 2 singles Nate Zmarlicki, and No. 2 doubles Adam Kosko-Kyle Naworol fell in straight sets.
“That was the match of the year for us because they’re equal to us in the opponents they played and results they had,” said Mauro. “It was very similar. I knew right from the get-go that it was going to have a reasonable 50-50 chance of winning.”
Loss vs. Hall
MAY 16—Southington’s top player and final doubles team wasn’t enough to slay one of the top teams in Class LL, as the Knights dropped the other five lines in straight sets. Southington’s two-match winning streak was snapped a couple of days later after the Knights fell, 5-2, to divisional Hall at home. The Warriors currently have 68 players on their roster.
Southington’s lone wins on the day came from No. 1 singles Balaoing in straight sets over Rithik Rayi, 6-3, 6-2, and No. 3 doubles Kwok-Marek Kryzanski in a super tiebreaker over John Taylor-Mateo Maturana, 4-6, 6-3, (10-7). No. 2 singles Zmarlicki, No. 3 singles Kudla, No. 4 singles Heidgerd, No. 1 doubles Jon Kryzanski-Chudy, and No. 2 doubles Kosko-Naworol fell in straight sets.
“I hate to say that you enjoyed the match when you lose, but I did,” said Mauro. “I enjoyed the level of competition. We were a half of a sandwich short of a good picnic, but our guys represented the school well and played well.”
Win at NW Catholic
MAY 18—The Knights capped off the week on Friday with a trip to St. Joseph’s College in West Hartford, where they bounced back from Wednesday’s loss to earn their seventh shutout of the season with a 7-0 sweep of divisional NW Catholic.
In singles, No. 1 Balaoing, No. 2 Zmarlicki, No. 3 Kudla, and No. 4 Heidgerd won in straight sets. Balaoing dropped just one game. In doubles, No. 1 Chudy-Jon Kryzanski and No. 2 Marek Kryzanski-Kosko prevailed in straight sets as well, as Marek Kryzanski-Kosko did not surrender a game. No 3 Kwok-Naworol won by forfeit.
For more in depth coverage, see our weekly print edition. To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.