By BRIAN JENNINGS
A 6-1 win at Newington qualified the Blue Knights as a team for the Class LL tournament after they stumbled into the week with a 5-2 loss to Simsbury at home. The Knights picked themselves back up with a 5-2 victory over Manchester in the middle of the week, but problems persisted for the boys tennis program.
The varsity lineup experienced a big shapeup after one of the three team captains was kicked off the team in accordance to a disciplinary action, as the other two were suspended. Doubles players moved up to fill the roles of empty singles spots, and more freshmen were incorporated into the lineup.
Freshmen Tyler Heidgerd, Adam Kosko, Marek Kryzanski, and Andrew Kudla are just some of the players that have been taking part in Southington’s recent youth movement. From No. 3 doubles to No. 2 singles, Marek Kryzanski has won all four of the matches he’s played in thus far.
“These freshmen never really got a genuine chance to move through the middle of the pack,” said Southington coach Tony Mauro. “A lot of it had to do with the weather. These four players could have played in the top 10, and they’ve done a good job.”
The Knights will close out the regular season this week when they host New Britain (8-6) on Monday, May 22 and EO Smith (4-8) on Tuesday, May 23. Southington is currently 9-6 overall.
Loss vs. Simsbury
MAY 15—The Knights began the week by dropping their second-straight match after falling, 5-2, to Simsbury at home on Monday.
No. 4 singles Erik Kryzanski and No. 3 doubles Marek Kryzanski and Mike Loose both won in straight sets to come away with Southington’s only two wins on the day. Marek Kryzanski and Loose surrendered just one game.
No. 1 singles Matt Balaoing, No. 1 doubles Jon Kryzanski and Kevin Chudy, and No. 2 doubles Sam Johnson and Nate Zmarlicki lost in super tiebreakers. No. 2 singles Mike Balaoing and No. 3 singles Rohan Kataria lost in straight sets.
Win vs. Manchester
MAY 16—The next day, Southington’s two-match losing streak was broken following a 5-2 victory over Manchester at home.
No. 1 singles Matt Balaoing and No. 2 singles Marek Kryzanski won in straight sets. Marek Kryzanski dropped just one game.
No. 1 doubles Jon Kryzanski and Chudy, No. 2 doubles Johnson and Listro, and No. 3 doubles Kosko and Loose won in straight sets as well. No. 3 singles Kudla and No. 4 singles Heidgerd lost in straight sets.
Win at Newington
MAY 17—The Knights rounded out the week on Wednesday by earning their second-straight win and qualifying for the Class LL tournament as a team with a 6-1 triumph at Newington.
No. 2 singles Zmarlicki prevailed in a three-set super tiebreaker over Newington’s Ben Arora, 6-1, 6-7 (7), 10-4. No. 4 singles Marek Kryzanski also pulled out a win in a three-set super tiebreaker, rising over Newington’s Shelbin Cheriyan, 6-3, 1-6, 10-4.
No. 1 singles Matt Balaoing, No. 1 doubles Jon Kryzanski and Chudy, No. 2 doubles Johnson and Listro, and No. 3 doubles Kosko and Turner Rodman won in straight sets. Jon Kryzanski and Chudy did not surrender a single game. Loose lost in straight sets.
For this week’s box scores, click here: (southingtonobserver.com/2017/05/23/weekly-scoreboard-for-the-may-26-edition). To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.