By KEVIN ROBERTS
Southington girls tennis saw one postseason run end and another begin last week as it competed in the Class L team and state open competitions.
The Lady Knights were the No. 7 seed in Class L and won a first round match against Wethersfield on May 25. That earned the Knights a quarterfinal round matchup against second-seeded and undefeated South Windsor.
Southington lost the May 28 match, 6-1, indoors at the Magic Lincer Tennis Club in Manchester. The match was moved from South Windsor High School because of rain.
Freshman Riley Tindall secured the lone victory for the Knights, 7-5, 7-5, over fellow freshman Heather Kim.
“That’s just another stepping stone for us. I’m very happy, thrilled with Riley. Freshman playing freshman,” coach Robin Thompson said.
It was the fourth time in Southington girls tennis history that it had reached the state quarterfinal round. The other quarterfinal appearances came in 1994, 2013 and 2017, with the 2017 appearance occurring due to a forfeit by Darien for using an ineligible player.
Thompson said that South Windsor was a great team with a great coach.
“The positive thing out of this, this kind of shows our girls, most of whom will be back next year, what the next level is,” coach Robin Thompson said. “Like I said to them, regardless of what happens today, this is a win for them.”
Thompson said the scores didn’t indicate how close some of the games actually were.
“Two-dubs said to me that they had an awful lot of games that went to deuce,” Thompson said.
The No. 2 doubles team of Gianna Wadowski and Avery Korp lost, 6-1, 6-2 in their match. The No. 3 doubles team of Jillian Watson and Ali Bruce also had some close games in their loss, 6-4, 6-3. Watson competed in her last match for Southington, as did fellow seniors Joelle Stublarec and Chantelle Gimenez. Stublarec lost at No. 2 singles, 6-0, 6-1, while Gimenez lost at No. 3 singles, 6-0, 6-4.
No. 1 singles player Abby Murphy lost for the first time all season, 6-4, 6-1, to Caitiln Sze. Murphy was 19-0, 18-0 in the regular season, entering the matchup.
“Caitlin’s good, and we knew Caitlin’s good,” Thompson said, adding that Sze comes from a strong tennis family.
The No. 1 doubles team of Kate Hardy and Isa Miani lost, 6-2, 6-3. The Knights left only minutes after their match to get back to Southington for the team banquet that evening.
“We’re going to go tonight and celebrate with our team at our banquet, and we’re going to hope that we get a little more momentum from our girls at the open on Saturday,” Thompson said.
JUNE 1—One singles player and two doubles teams qualified for the open tournament, which is held after the team tournaments have concluded.
Murphy qualified for the singles tournament as the No. 14 seed and was victorious in her first two matches in the lower bracket at Conard High School in West Hartford. She beat North Haven’s Alexandria Vollero, 8-1, in the first round. In the second round, Murphy defeated Sacred Heart’s Ava Longo, 8-1.
Murphy advanced to the third round of the open, which was played Monday at Wesleyan. She lost, 6-0, 6-0, to third-seeded Isabella Koziol of Wilton.
Wadowski and Korp had to play an opening round match at Hall High School in West Hartford and defeated Newington’s Kelly Iskra and Samantha Miller, 8-4. Wadowski and Korp’s first round match in the lower bracket was against second-seeded Juliet Homes and Elaina Cummiskey. Wadowski and Korp were defeated, 8-0.
Hardy and Miani played in the first round in the upper bracket, and they were defeated, 8-4, by Fairfield Ludlowe’s Julia Pida and Gabby Price.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Kevin Roberts, email him at KRoberts@SouthingtonObserver.com