Girls Tennis: Knights advance

Jillian Watson returns a volley during a No. 3 doubles match on May 25.

By KEVIN ROBERTS

STAFF WRITER

It was another busy, yet not full, week for Southington girls tennis. The Lady Knights took down Avon 4-3 on May 21 and Conard 7-0 on May 22, both on the road, to finish the regular season with a record of 15-3.

This past Saturday, seventh-seeded Southington hosted No. 10 Wethersfield in a Class L first round team tournament match. The Knights beat the Eagles 5-2 and moved on to play at second-seeded South Windsor in the quarterfinal round on Tuesday.

“The weather continued to wreak havoc the whole week, pretty much, and it was just another week where we never got six days in. I don’t think we’ve had a full week all season,” coach Robin Thompson said.

Thompson said she knew Wethersfield would be a challenge. The Knights split singles with the Eagles, but swept doubles to take the victory. The No. 1 doubles team of Kate Hardy and Isa Miani clinched the match with their 7-6(9), 6-4 victory. The No. 3 doubles team of Jillian Watson and Ali Bruce won, 6-1, 6-4, and the No. 2 tandem of Gianna Wadowski and Avery Korp won, 6-2, 7-5.

“It came down to the last two lines. Five-two makes it look like no big deal, but it was a tough 5-2,” Thompson said.

Abby Murphy won her No. 1 singles match, 6-0, 6-0. Riley Tindall took her No. 4 singles match, 6-2, 7-6(5). Tindall’s match was the last to finish, and Thompson said the freshman showed moxy.

“Very proud, a total team effort,” Thompson said. “Even the two girls that lost.”

Joelle Stublarec lost 6-2, 6-1, at No. 2 singles while Chantelle Gimenez lost, 6-3, 6-4, at No. 3 singles.

Thompson didn’t sugarcoat things for her team in the postgame meeting. South Windsor was undefeated and was figured to be a tough match, but Southington planned on being ready for the Tuesday battle.

Regular season wrap-up

Southington was Avon’s second opponent of the day on May 21. Abbreviated pro sets (first to eight, win by two points) were played, but only four courts and long matches made for a long day for the Knights. Still, Southington left Avon Middle School with the win. The No. 3 doubles team of Watson and Bruce clinched the match with their 8-3 victory. The Knights trailed 3-1 after singles, with Murphy claiming the only win, 8-3.

The No. 1 doubles team of Hardy and Miani won, 8-4, and the No. 2 tandem of Wadowski and Korp won, 8-2. That set up the heroics from Watson and Bruce.

“I thought we had a fighting chance still, but you never want to go in there thinking you got to get three of three,” Thompson said. “Give credit to the girls, they pulled it out, it was a late night.”

Southington was also Conard’s second opponent on May 22. The Chieftains had played Hall, but had done so earlier in the day. Murphy won her No. 1 singles match to finish the regular season with a record of 18-0. Stublarec, Gimenez and Tindall also won singles matches. Gimenez rallied in her No. 3 singles match for the victory, 4-6, 7-5, 12-10.

The Knights picked up doubles wins from the teams of Hardy and Miani; Wadowski and Korp; and Watson and Bruce. Watson and Bruce won, 6-3, 7-6(5) at No. 3 doubles.

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

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