How much did Rod-Djaly Thoby know about the South Windsor girls tennis team?
He knew they were undefeated and had beaten Wilton, 4-3, in last year’s state tournament.
“I had no idea what to expect,” said Thoby, Wilton’s first-year head coach. “[Just] a really good team ready to keep their record clean.”
But unable to do so.
Winning three-of-four singles matches and both doubles contests that were completed, sixth-seed Wilton routed second-seed South Windsor, 5-1, in a Class L state tournament semifinal Thursday at South Windsor High School.
The Warriors (19-3) now face a more familiar opponent, top-seed Staples, in the state championship match tomorrow (Friday) at 3 p.m. at New Canaan High School. Unbeaten Staples has defeated Wilton twice this spring: 5-2 during the regular season and 4-0 in the FCIAC finals.
In Thursday’s state semifinal, Wilton thoroughly avenged its loss to South Windsor in the opening round of last year’s Class L tournament.
“[I’m] so proud of my team,” said Djaly Thoby. “I’ve always told them ‘great things are done in a series of small things put together’ and they have been doing just that.”
Wilton got victories from Izzy Koziol (7-5, 6-3) at first singles; Emma Caldwell (6-3, 6-2) at second singles; Rhea Raghavan (6-2, 6-2) at fourth singles; Grace Cahill and Gerri Fox (6-4, 6-4) at first doubles; and Arden Lee and Annie Caldwell (6-2, 6-2) at second doubles.
At third doubles, Wilton’s Kate Seelert and Mackenzie McCormick were ahead 7-6 (7-5), 3-1 when the match was stopped due to rain.
“We have accomplished so much together and we get to end the season as a unit in the state finals,” said Thoby. “Our next mission is to take down Staples.”
Notes: South Windsor’s lone point came at third singles, as Samantha Donovan topped Alexandra Iotzova, 6-2, 7-5.
Wilton dominated despite playing its second match without Amber Li (ankle injury), who usually teams with Arden Lee at first doubles. Fox and Cahill have moved up from second doubles to first doubles, and Lee is playing with Annie Caldwell, a freshman, at second doubles.
South Windsor finished the year with an 18-1 record.