By BRIAN JENNINGS
The Lady Knight tennis team finished this past week without a blemish, capturing wins in all four of their matches. Southington’s current winning streak improved to seven matches. Not lost or forgotten in the shuffle of those four wins, the Knights clinched a playoff berth for the 13th-straight year.
The Knights will look to improve their seeding in the state tournament this week with tough contests against divisional Conard (9-3), divisional Hall (11-3), and NW Catholic (9-5). Southington is 11-3 overall and 3-2 in the CCC Central Region.
“We played well, and I’m hoping it tells us what we’re capable of,” said Lady Knight coach Robin Thompson. “This coming week is our defining week.”
Win at Simsbury
MAY 7—Southington began the week with a 6-1 win at Simsbury to put them on the brink of postseason qualification, but it set the stage. The victory over the Trojans was Southington’s first win in the rivalry since 2015, but Southington took control early.
Southington’s top singles players set the pace, winning tough matches against Simsbury’s top players. Abby Murphy held of Simsbury’s top player with an overtime victory in the second set to clinch the victory. Coral Tommervik was coming off an advanced placement exam in school to win at No. 2 singles.
“She had a long academic day and then came in and just did a super job,” said Thompson. “It was not only the ground strokes. It was the mental piece. You had to check both boxes, in order to get the win, and both girls checked both boxes.”
Thompson said that she hadn’t felt so proud of her team like that in a while. No. 3 singles Molly Murphy did not surrender a game against her opponent, and Joelle Stublarec prevailed in straight sets, including a first-set tiebreaker at No. 4 singles to complete the sweep.
Southington won two out of three in doubles play, too. No. 2 doubles Samantha Barmore-Madison Beaudoin rebounded from a loss in the second set to clinch their contest with a 6-0 third set. No. 3 doubles Gianna Wadowski-Emma Wojcicki won in straight sets.
Win vs. Avon
MAY 9—Murphy survived a three-set thriller a couple of days later to clinch a 6-1 home victory over Avon. Murphy defeated SeSe Nguyen, 4-6, 6-4, 6-1, in a match that lasted about two and a half hours.
Southington’s team victory clinched a postseason berth in the upcoming Class L tournament.
No. 2 Tommervik and No. 3 Molly Murphy each won in straight sets. In doubles, No. 1 Callahan-Gimenez, No. 2 Barmore-Beaudoin, and No. 3 Wadowski-Wojcicki prevailed in straight sets as well. Barmore-Beaudoin dropped just one game.
No. 4 singles Stublarec fell to Kerry Karlin in a super tiebreaker, 6-2, 5-7 (10-2).
Win at Tolland
MAY 10—Abby Murphy didn’t skip a beat and was back at it the very next day. She did not drop a game this time to lift the Knights to a 6-1 victory at Tolland.
No. 4 singles Stublarec won in straight sets, and No. 3 singles Molly Murphy bounced back from a second-set loss to endure Hannah Storozuk in three, 6-3, 1-6, 6-2.
No. 1 doubles Callahan-Gimenez and No. 2 doubles Barmore-Beaudoin prevailed in straight sets. No. 3 doubles Wadowski-Wojcicki defeated Madalyn Reagn-Sonika Kolli in straight sets after persevering through a tiebreaker in the first set, 7-6(4), 6-4.
No. 2 singles Tommervik went the distance against Marisa Vatteroni, but couldn’t hold on, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.
Win at Windsor
MAY 11—Southington’s doubles tandems gave away just two games in all three of their lines combined, as the Knights capped off the week on Friday by earning their seventh-straight win and eighth shutout of the season with a 7-0 sweep at Windsor.
In singles, No. 1 Abby Murphy No. 2 Tommervik, and No. 3 Molly Murphy prevailed in straight sets. Abby Murphy dropped just one game. No. 4 Stublarec won by default.
In doubles, No. 1 Callahan-Gimenez, No. 2 Barmore-Beaudoin, and No. 3 Wojcicki-Jill Watson prevailed in straight sets as well. Callahan-Gimenez and Barmore-Beaudoin did not surrender a game.
For more in depth coverage, see our weekly print edition. To contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at BJennings@SouthingtonObserver.com.