SOUTHINGTON - The Southington boys tennis team took on Berlin on Wednesday afternoon, and for one set, the Blue Knights were golden.
As Southington cruised to a 6-1 victory over the Redcoats to continue its dominant start to the season, the win was highlighted by a golden set recorded by the Blue Knight’s second doubles team of Adam Kosko and Kyle Narowol.
The duo beat Josh Braun and Braden Shea 6-1, 6-0, with the second set being won by scoring the minimum 24 points required for a 6-0 victory. Southington head coach Tony Mauro compared the accomplishment to being “more rare than a hole-in-one” on the golf course.
“After we won the second game I said ‘hey, we have a golden set, let’s keep it up,’” Kosko said. “We kept after it. That was the first time it’s ever happened for me, so that’s pretty big.”
The lone blemish for the Blue Knights was in first doubles, where nobody can seem to figure out Berlin’s Jon Trevethan, who continued his immaculate streak with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Matt Balaoing, and all-conference winner last year who had no answer for the dominant Trevethan.
“I was a little nervous coming in because I knew him, and I knew he would be tough,” Trevethan said. “I just wanted to come in and focus on my game. I knew if I played well I would be OK.”
After Trevethan’s win, it was all Southington (4-0), as the Blue Knights beat the Redcoats (0-4) in every remaining set by at least a 6-3 score. Six sets were claimed by a score of either 6-0 or 6-1.
“We learned a lot today,” Berlin head coach Mike Flannery said. “The kids [at Southington] are very good. Top to bottom, they have 26 players and they’re all good.”
Southington flexed its depth on Wednesday, welcoming back first doubles player Nate Zmarlicki from a wrist injury, who paired with Mike Kwok and took down James Zovich and Jackson Lombardi by a score of 6-2, 6-1. Zmarlicki had the cast from his wrist removed just four hours before the match, but he didn’t miss a beat.
“It felt great to be back on the court with my team,” Zmarlicki said. “I’m happy to get the first win out of the way and move on and improve throughout the season.”
Zmarlicki and Kwok were part of a flawless doubles performance from the Blue Knights, as the third doubles team of Ethan Sutton and Pio Castellano beat Noah Mihalko and John Cofrancesco 6-0, 6-3 to complete the doubles sweep.
“The match went very well,” Sutton said. “We had a good dynamic and had good serves today. We were a little challenged in the second set, but we pushed forward and had a good mentality through the set.”
Over in singles, Southington avenged the loss to Trevethan with three wins courtesy of Marek Kryzanski, Andrew Kudla and Kade Savino. Kryzanski claimed a dominant 6-0, 6-2 win over Justin Chyra to set the tone for the following singles matches.
“The second set I gave up a couple games,” Kryzanski explained. “I played better in the first set. My forehands were off in the second set, but it was still a good match.”
Savino rolled to a 6-1,6-0 win over Justin Pattavina in just the second singles match of his career, while Kudla stormed out to a 6-1 win in his first set against John Addamo, and survived a sloppy stretch in the second set to claim a 6-3 victory.
“I gave up a couple games I didn’t want to, but our whole team did pretty well as a group,” Kudla said. “We’re 4-0, and I’m excited to see where the season goes.”
The season is heading towards tough division opponents such as Hall and Glastonbury, and for now, the Blue Knights are taking care of business to tune up for those more difficult contests. On Wednesday, Mauro liked what he saw, and believes his group will be able to put up a fight against the juggernauts of the CCC.
“I’m pleased with our progress,” Mauro said. “All I want is their best effort and I think I got that today.”
Ryan Chichester can be reached at (860) 801-5094 or firstname.lastname@example.org