By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Lady Knight tennis team earned a win against another team they haven’t beaten in years. This time, it was NW Catholic at the end of a 2-1 week against West Hartford programs.
With that win, the Knights now have No. 1 singles Abby Murphy, No. 1 doubles Carolyn Callahan-Chantelle Gimenez, and No. 2 doubles Samantha Barmore-Madison Beaudoin qualified for the state open.
A divisional title still hangs in the balance for the Knights. Southington coach Robin Thompson said that if her team displays the mental toughness, patience, and performance that they had in their win against NW Catholic, they could be a tough out for most teams in the area.
“If we had played as we did in a couple of other matches, we’d be looking at a 17-1 record,” said Thompson. “Some of the things really clicked on Friday that needed to click. I just wished that they would have clicked a little earlier.”
Thompson said that she likes the lineup they are putting out right now, and the doubles are starting to come together.
The Knights will be back on the courts this week when they close out the regular season with a home match against Newington (8-8). Southington is 13-4 overall and 4-3 in the CCC West Region.
Win vs. Conard
MAY 14—Top player Abby Murphy and No. 4 singles Joelle Stublarec surrendered just one game each to help Southington sweep the singles lines. The Knights began the week on Monday to earn their eighth-straight win with a 6-1 rout of Conard at home.
No. 2 Coral Tommervik, No. 3 Molly Murphy, No. 1 doubles Callahan-Gimenez, and No. 2 doubles Barmore-Beaudoin won in straight sets, as Callahan-Gimenez dropped just one game. In the longest match of the day, No. 3 doubles Gianna Wadowski-Emma Wojcicki fell in straight sets, 7-6 (6), 7-5, to Maggie Noble-Nora McGowan after letting an opening-set tiebreaker slip through their grasp.
Loss at Hall
MAY 16—One singles line wasn’t enough to get the win, as Southington’s eight-match winning streak was snapped a couple of days later after the Knights were edged by a point, 4-3, at divisional Hall.
Southington’s wins on the day included No. 1 singles Abby Murphy No. 1 doubles Callahan-Gimenez, and No. 3 doubles Wadowski-Wojcicki in straight sets. No. 2 singles Tommervik, No. 4 singles Stublarec, and No. 2 doubles Barmore-Beaudoin fell in straight sets. No. 3 singles Molly Murphy rallied back after dropping the opening set to force a third set, but couldn’t hold on in a tiebreaker against Jessie Xu, 3-6, 6-0, 7-6 (2).
“I knew that it was going to be a good match,” said Thompson. “I thought that we were going to prevail. We had a couple of matches that were on our racquets that we just couldn’t finish.”
Win vs. NW Catholic
MAY 18—The doubles carried the Knights to their 13th win of the season, as Southington bounced back on Friday with a win they hadn’t seen in some time. They edged divisional NW Catholic by one point, 4-3, at home.
“We had three of our five seniors in doubles,” said Thompson. “One of our captains said to me that we finally got them. I was emotional and so happy for them.”
No. 3 doubles Wadowski-Wojcicki surrendered just one game against Taylor Griffith-Olivia Chappano, 6-0, 6-1, to clinch the match for the Knights.
“I don’t think they (Wadowski-Wojcicki) really had a sense of where we were in the match because the match was still undetermined, but it was pretty apparent that they were relaxed,” said Thompson. “That just came from their evaluation of the opponent. They knew that it was just about them performing and that it wasn’t going to be a tight match. They really just dominated.”
No. 1 singles Abby Murphy, No. 1 doubles Callahan-Gimenez prevailed in straight sets as well. No. 2 doubles Barmore-Beaudoin rebounded from dropping the opening set to outlast Kelci Goodson-Isabella Krocheski in three sets, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2.
No. 2 singles Tommervik, No. 3 singles Molly Murphy, and No. 4 singles Stublarec fell in straight sets.
“I knew that this one would be the toughest of our divisional opponents,” said Thompson. “I knew that they graduated some players, but I knew that their one and two singles players were strong. I was hoping that we would get a 2-love lead, and we ended splitting, but our doubles just brought it all home.”
For more in depth coverage, see our weekly print edition. To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.