After a regular season in which everything seemingly went the way the East Hampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton boys tennis team wanted it to go, the tide seems to be turning when things count the most: the postseason.
Having five players advance to the Suffolk County Individual Championships, which start this weekend at Half Hollow Hills East High School, is certainly a positive. But it’s how those players placed at the Division IV Tournament at Shoreham/Wading River High School this past weekend that the Bonackers were hopeful to improve.
Jonny DeGroot and Ravi MacGurn placed third and fourth, respectively, where they were seeded, in the singles draw of the tournament, after DeGroot defeated his teammate, 7-6, 6-2, on Tuesday afternoon. Luke Louchheim, the seventh seed, defeated eighth-seed Trevor Hayes of Westhampton Beach, 6-4, 6-0, to place fifth.
East Hampton’s top doubles pair of Jaedon Glasstein and Alex Weseley did what they needed to do in reaching the finals against Southold/Greenport’s brother tandem of Jacob and Xavier Kahn, who were seeded third. The Kahns took the match 2-6, 6-4, 6-4.
Basically, the seedings played out exactly the way they were drawn up, East Hampton head coach Kevin McConville said on Tuesday morning. Bonac’s luck actually started to take a turn at last week’s seeding meeting for the division tournament, in which Louchheim could have been seeded fifth, but McConville opted to have him seeded seventh instead so he wouldn’t have to face his teammate, MacGurn, in the quarterfinals.
Instead, Louchheim had to play the second seed and returning division finalist Josh Kaplan of Westhampton Beach in the quarters, in which he lost 6-1, 6-2. McConville was hoping that Louchheim would play Kaplan as tough as he did last year when the two met, when Kaplan won, but Louchheim forced three sets.
In fact, McConville was hoping a few of his players in the singles draw would force some upsets. It just didn’t happen.
“We were hoping to maybe pull out an upset, possibly Jonny against Josh Kaplan, or Ravi against the number one seed [Mike Koscinski of Center Moriches],” he explained. “Luke played Josh really tough in three sets last year, and we were hoping that maybe he could punch his way by him this time around. Everything stuck to the seedings.
“We didn’t upset anyone, but we didn’t get upset by anyone.”
The Bonackers were also without a key doubles player in the tournament, as Jamie Fairchild was away on a school trip. That forced McConville to drop Fairchild’s usual doubles player, Brad Drubych, into the singles draw, and he lost his opening round match to Patricio Pulla of Hampton Bays, 7-6, 6-3.
East Hampton’s two other doubles pairings in the tournament, Matthew McGovern and Miles Clark and Jackson LaRose and John Jimenez, each won their first round matches, but lost in the very next round.
East Hampton also got some not-so-great news Tuesday morning, when the Suffolk County Team Tournament brackets came out and seeded the squad fifth.
The League VII Champion Bonackers (10-0 League VII, 11-2 overall) were hoping for a top-four seed, which would have allowed them to have home court through the quarterfinals, but Hills East, Commack, Bay Shore and Harborfields were all seeded ahead of them.
McConville said the seeding is a bit of a head-scratcher since Bay Shore, while having won the League III title and is 15-0, didn’t really play a competitive non-league schedule. And Harborfields defeated the top seed in Hills East twice, but it lost both of its matches to Commack and split with Hills West, the eighth seed and a team the Bonackers defeated in a non-league match earlier this season.
Harborfields gaining the fourth seed means it would host East Hampton if the two teams were to meet in the quarterfinals on May 16, which is expected. McConville said ultimately, though, the seedings don’t matter all that much. He would have liked to host the semifinal match, but he and his players will deal with it.
East Hampton begins team tournament play this Wednesday, May 15, against the winner of No. 12 Miller Place and No. 21 Sayville at 4 p.m.