With half of the boys tennis season already gone, the chances that the Westhampton Beach boys tennis team will win at least a share of the League VII title for a third consecutive season, while entirely out of the question, took a major hit after it suffered a 4-3 loss at home to East Hampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton on Thursday, April 4.
Westhampton Beach head coach John Czartosieski said his team was disappointed with the loss, but he was proud of the way his athletes competed.
All of the matches contested last week were close. Josh Kaplan avenged a loss he suffered to Jonny DeGroot earlier in the season by defeating him, 6-2, 6-2, and Santo Benenati secured a victory at fourth singles, defeating Max Astilean, 6-3, 6-4. Nick Chen and Sandro Volpe picked up the other Hurricanes’ victory at third doubles, defeating John Jimenez and Jackson LaRose, 2-6, 6-4, 6-3. All three doubles matches went to three sets, and Andre Insalco went to a tiebreaker in his first set with Ravi MacGurn at second singles before losing the second set.
“We were right in that match,” Czartosieski said. “I’m proud of them for the way they kept up the fight. We had our opportunities, but because of a lack of experience with the doubles, we couldn’t convert them. I think we gave East Hampton a bit of a scare, though.”
Benenati playing at fourth singles was one of a number of changes Czartosieski made to his lineup after the teams faced each other last month. Those changes seemed to have helped, since East Hampton had won the first match, 7-0.
“The last time we played East Hampton, I didn’t really know what our best lineup would be as a team, yet. So we figured that out and we gave them a really good match,” Czartosieski explained. “I think they were a little more experienced.”
The only two league losses for the Hurricanes (4-2 League VII, 5-3 overall) so far this season have come at the hands of East Hampton. They also defeated Mattituck, 5-2, at home on April 2. Each one of the four singles players won their matches that day, while Volpe and Chen won their third doubles match.
Czartosieski likes the way his team has been improving throughout the season. Although a handful of players returned from last season, half the team is new to varsity.
“They’re all playing better, learning the ins and outs of doubles and getting used to playing with their partner. Because many of them are playing with brand new partners, so that’s an adjustment,” Czartosieski said. “They’re basically learning their roles. It’s all getting better.”
Westhampton Beach was scheduled to host Center Moriches in a non-league match on Monday and was also slated to host Southold/Greenport on Tuesday, before playing at Southampton on Thursday, April 11, at 4 p.m.