State tournaments are in full swing, and so are a number of local athletes who have saved their best performances for the biggest stages.
Whether it be continued runs of dominance in state tournaments or sustained success in the State Open, the local area has a number of student-athletes who have made their respective programs proud.
The tennis court has been a focal point of such success, as Berlin’s Jon Trevethan and Southington’s Abby Murphy are the New Britain Herald Athletes of the Week for their incredible postseason play.
Trevethan entered the Class M state tournament with a target on his back. And even he admitted feeling added pressure of being a defending champion, especially with every opponent coming at him with their best in hopes of taking down the player that has dominated the class over the past three seasons.
Still, that didn’t slow Trevethan down.
Playing in the final tennis event of his high school career, Trevethan breezed through the first three rounds of the tournament with 6-0, 6-0 wins in each round. After coasting to the quarterfinals, Trevethan faced a battle in Yefim Gorodnitskiy of Avon, trading blows until Trevethan got through the first set with a 7-5 win. From there, Trevethan settled in and disposed of Gorodnitskiy with a 6-0 win to secure a date with Grady Tarzian of Weston in the semifinals, who Trevethan met in the quarterfinals the year before.
This time, Tarzian gave Trevethan a much tougher test.
Weston’s senior dealt Trevethan his first set loss of the tournament and just his second of the season with a 6-3 win in the first, putting Trevethan on the cusp of elimination. But once again, Trevethan regained his footing and won the next two sets 6-3, 6-3, to clinch his third straight trip to the state final.
“I knew that was a big one for me,” Trevethan said, of the semifinals comeback. “It was huge for me to get through that and get to the finals with some confidence.”
Trevethan found himself in another tight battle just 24 hours later as he dueled with Tolland’s Brennan Nick. But after weathering multiple comeback attempts by Nick, Trevethan finished the job and walked away from the courts at Wesleyan University as a state champion for the second year in a row.
“I’m not going to lie, the nerves started to kick in later in that set,” Trevethan admitted when discussing the final set with Nick.
Those nerves are part of what made Trevethan so dominant during his time with the Redcoats. Even when he breezed through a flawless regular season, or through the early rounds of a state tournament, he never glanced over an opponent. He kept his focus on the match at hand, and at times, made them all look easy.
“He’s so humble about it,” teammate John Addamo said. “Before matches, guys will come up to him and say ‘you’re going to kill this guy,’ but he always just says ‘you never know.’ He has so much confidence, but he never overlooks anybody.”
Trevethan’s focus on the present moment didn’t allow him to realize the amazing run he experienced in his final years with Berlin tennis, but there will be plenty of time for that before playing at Roger Williams University next season.
“I haven’t really thought about it much,” Trevethan said when asked about his legacy. “Looking back on it is pretty cool, but during the tournament I wasn’t really considering any of that.”
Now that it’s over, Trevethan can recount his lengthy list of accomplishments during his time at Berlin. There are plenty to pick from.
The Southington girls tennis team has a dominant No. 1 singles player of its own in Murphy, who has lived up to her reputation so far through the Blue Knights’ postseason. Murphy helped Southington to a 17-3 record in the regular season and a quarterfinals berth in the Class LL state tournament before starting the State Open in dominant fashion.
Much like Trevethan in Class M, Murphy cruised through two rounds of the Open with 8-1 wins in each of the first two rounds, taking down Alexandria Vollero of North Haven and Ava Longo of Sacred Heart to advance to Monday’s third round action at Wesleyan.
Murphy’s postseason success is nothing new for the junior. In her sophomore campaign, after finishing with an 18-1 record and an all-conference selection, Murphy won her first round match at the State Open, which now gives her three total wins among the top tennis players in the state.
Murphy’s run at the State Open has already ensured her an All-State selection, and she has also secured another all-conference selection. With another year before graduation, Murphy’s trophy case will get crowded quickly before next June.
Ryan Chichester can be reached at (860) 801-5094 or firstname.lastname@example.org