Boys Tennis: Two sweeps bookend a loss

By KEVIN ROBERTS

STAFF WRITER

Southington boys tennis sandwiched two 7-0 wins around a 6-1 loss last week and improved to 13-4 (2-4 CCC West Division) on the season. The Blue Knights beat Manchester 7-0 on May 14, lost 6-1 to Hall on May 15, and defeated NW Catholic 7-0 on May 16.

Here’s what happened in each match:

Manchester provides some challenges

MAY 14—The Indians challenged the Knights in each of the doubles matches, but the Knights still took a sweep.

Matt Balaoing, Marek Kryzanski, Andrew Kudla and Kade Huang-Savino won singles matches in straight sets for Southington. At No. 1 doubles, Nate Zmarlicki and Mike Kwok went to a third set super tiebreaker before they won, 5-7, 6-2, 10-8. The No. 2 team of Adam Kosko and Kyle Naworol won, 7-5, 6-3. The No. 3 team of Jacob Sutton and Tyler Heidgerd won, 6-2, 7-5.

“They gave us a nice run, even though the score didn’t indicate it,” coach Tony Mauro said. “They were dooking it out, and that was nice.”

Loss at Hall

MAY 15—The Warriors proved to be a tough matchup for the Knights.

“They were terrific. I just think, to be perfectly honest with you, they were just better than us,” Mauro said.

Southington’s lone win came from the No. 1 doubles team of Balaoing and Zmarlicki, 6-2, 6-2. The Knights did lose in a super tiebreaker at No. 2 doubles.

Easy win over Lions

MAY 17—The Knights overwhelmed the Lions, who were also undermanned and had to forfeit at No. 4 singles and No. 1 doubles.

Kyle Naworol, D.J. Pestillo and Jacob Sutton won singles matches in straight sets for Southington. Vatsa Sheth and Billy Wadolowski combined for a win at No. 2 doubles while Dan Mathew and Alex Roy took the win at No. 3 doubles.

“It was very nice to see the two freshmen, Alex Roy and Daniel Mathew, coming through,” Mauro said. “Any other year, they’d probably be anywhere from nine to 11, or maybe even higher, because they do hit the ball well.”

Mauro was referring to his ladder of how he ranks the players. The top 10 players are the ones who start, though its ever-evolving because of challenge matches during practice. Roy and Mathew both have strong skillsets, they just happened to be around at the same time as three starting seniors and a large junior class.

Up next: Southington hosted Rocky Hill on Tuesday and Conard on Wednesday in the final matches of the regular season. Pairings for the individual state tournament were released by the CIAC on Thursday.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com

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