By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Blue Knights went 2-1 in a lopsided week and recorded their sixth shutout of the season, but the wins came at a price. Southington coach Tony Mauro said that No. 1 singles player Matt Balaoing suffered an injury in Friday’s practice, and the team could be without him for some time.
That creates problems in the lineup.
“I have to decide now whether I should beef up the doubles teams and take my losses at singles or the other way around,” said Mauro. “I don’t really know what to do with it at this point, but I’m seriously thinking about loading up on the doubles.”
The Knights will be back on the courts this week with their first divisional matches of the season in contests against divisional Conard (10-3), divisional Hall (12-1), divisional NW Catholic (5-5), and Platt (2-7). Southington is 9-3 overall and 1-3 in the CCC West Region.
Win vs. Simsbury
MAY 7—Top player Balaoing and No. 4 singles Tyler Heidgerd didn’t surrender a game in their matches on Monday to help the Knights earn their fourth-straight win with a 6-1 victory over Simsbury at home.
No. 3 singles Andrew Kudla and No. 2 doubles Adam Kosko-Marek Kryzanski won in straight sets. No. 1 doubles Kevin Chudy-Jon Kryzanski won in straight sets as well, but they had to work for the first set by outlasting Nick Ratajczak-Brendan Gallagher in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (3), 6-4.
No. 3 doubles Mike Kwok-Kyle Naworol won by forfeit. No. 2 singles Nate Zmarlicki fell to Trey Albani in a super tiebreaker, 6-4, 1-6 (10-2).
Loss at Avon
MAY 10—The Knights outlasted the Falcons in a track meet by taking all three super tiebreakers in the match, but it wasn’t enough.
Southington’s four-match winning streak was snapped a few days later after the Knights fell by a point, 4-3, to Avon at Avon Middle School.
ABalaoing, Andrew Kudla, top doubles tandem Kevin Chudy-Jon Kryzanski rebounded from losses in their first sets to clinch their matches in super tiebreakers.
Win vs. Bulkeley-HMTCA
MAY 11—The Knights dropped just one game in singles and doubles lines combined. They rebounded on friday with their ninth win of the season. The 7-0 victory over Bulkeley-HMTCA clinched the state tournament standard.
The win came without their top two singles players and top doubles team in the lineup.
In singles, No. 1 Kudla, No. 2 Heidgerd, and No. 3 Naworol won in straight sets. Heidgerd and Naworol did not drop a game. No. 4 Kade Savino won by forfeit.
In doubles, No. 1 Kwok-DJ Pestillo and No. 2 Kosko-Vatsa Sheth won in straight sets without surrendering a game as well. No. 3 Ethan Sutton-Jacob Sutton won by forfeit.
For more in depth coverage, see our weekly print edition. To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.