For the better part of the last decade, the Hampton Bays boys tennis team has been accustomed to dwelling at the bottom of the League VIII standings.
Not this year.
The Baymen are 6-5 in League VIII, good enough for fourth place out of seven teams, and they are 7-5 overall. Even the matches they've lost have been close for the most part, with three 4-3 defeats on their record. Their 7-5 overall record is the best for the program in nine years, and head coach Rodney Way says that it's a direct result of the offseason commitment of several players.
Hampton Bays shut out Center Moriches 7-0 last week at Red Creek Park. Jack Hilton won 6-0, 6-2 at first singles; Caleb Reed won 6-1, 6-1 at second; Tim Berglin won 6-3, 6-1 at third; and Saul Rojas won 7-6, 6-1 at fourth. In doubles, the top team of Wayne Stanton and Nick Romagnoli won 6-4, 4-6 and 7-6; Alex Mineo and Ross Hamilton won 2-6, 6-2 and 6-2 at second; and Juan Buritica and Adrian Holgium won 6-3, 6-2 at third.
The Baymen were edged, 4-3, at Rocky Point on Saturday. Hilton won 6-2, 6-3 at first; Reed won 6-4, 6-7 and 7-5 at second; and Rojas won 6-1, 6-2 at third. Hampton Bays suffered another 4-3 defeat on Monday on the road against Longwood. Hilton prevailed in a tough three-set match at first singles, winning 7-5, 4-6 and 6-2, while Reed won 6-2, 6-3 at second. Way said it was the best Reed has played all season. Berglin, the coach said, also played very well in winning his match 6-2, 7-6 at third singles.
The Baymen were scheduled to host Riverhead on Wednesday, May 1, to close out the regular season before gearing up for the Division IV individual tournament, which will begin on Friday at the William Floyd High School. Way said he expects Hilton, Reed and Berglin to compete in that tournament.
Blue Leads Mariners
Southampton singles player Dylan Blue was thrust into the spotlight for his team this year after the Mariners lost their top three singles players to graduation.
It hasn't been an easy year for Southampton, which fell to 0-9 in League VII, 0-11 overall, after a 6-1 loss at home to East Hampton last week. Still, Blue has been doing an admirable job playing at the top singles spot, despite the fact that he was only a fourth singles player last year. Blue got one of his biggest wins of the season last week, accounting for his team's only point in the loss to the Bonackers when he beat Collin Kavanaugh in three sets, losing the first 6-4 before winning 7-6, 7-6.
Southampton lost the rest of its matches in straight sets, with Will Reddick falling 6-3, 6-3 to Andrew Davis at second singles; Ben Perreira losing 6-1, 6-1 to Peter Davis at third; and Danny Claud losing 6-0, 6-0 to Brady Yusko at fourth. In doubles, Alex Grun and Connor Kiembock lost 6-2, 6-4 to Julian MacGurn and Nicki Neubert at first; Liam McMahon and Kenneth Moleneras lost 6-0, 6-1 to Matt Silich and Reese Donaldson at second; and Eric Bartolon and Eryk Kropiwnicka lost 6-1, 6-0 to Keith Schad and Elias VanSickle at third.
Bonackers Now 6-4
East Hampton moved to 6-4 in League VII, 6-6 overall, by splitting two matches last week. They beat the winless Mariners 6-1 after suffering a 5-2 loss at home against Westhampton Beach on April 24.
In the loss to Westhampton Beach, Andrew Davis beat Beecher Halsey 6-2, 6-2 at third singles and Nicki Neubert bested Sam Kapust 6-1, 6-2 at fourth singles to account for East Hampton's only points. The Hurricanes won at first singles, with Kevin Cino beating Julian MacGurn 6-2, 6-4, and also won at second singles, with Zach Ellenhorn downing Collin Kavanaugh 7-5, 6-0.
Westhampton Beach swept the doubles matches as well, with Cooper Lacetera and Brian Schwartz beating Matt Silich and Reese Donaldson 6-0, 6-2 at first; Nisarg Dabhi and Matt Kantor beating Andrew Dixon and Peter Davis 6-3, 6-1 at second; and Raj Ghayalod and Riley Smith beating Brady Yusko and Juan Agudelo 6-7, 6-4, 8-6 at third.
Hurricanes Fall To Rival
For the second time this season, Westhampton Beach was edged in a 4-3 match by rival Ross, which took sole possession of first place with the win by moving to 10-1 in League VII, 11-2 overall.
Westhampton Beach, which also beat East Hampton last week and Shoreham/Wading River on Monday, improved to 8-2 in league play and 11-5 overall. If the Hurricanes can win their final two matches of the regular season and if Ross loses its last match to East Hampton, then Ross and Westhampton Beach would be tied for first in the league. Ross was scheduled to play East Hampton on May 1.
In the loss to Ross, Cooper Lacetera beat Ramiz Farah 6-1, 6-1 at first singles and Cino beat Tihoui Guo 6-0, 6-0 at second singles. At third singles, Ross's Jack Brinkley-Cook beat Beecher Halsey in three sets. Halsey won the first set, 6-4, before Brinkley-Cook won the next two sets 6-4, 6-0. At fourth singles, Ross's Jonah Feuerring beat Sam Kapust 6-0, 6-0.
In doubles, Ross's Louis Caiola and Harrion Rowen beat Zach Ellenhorn and Brian Schwartz in three sets. The Hurricane duo won the first set 6-3 before losing the next two 6-3, 6-4. Nisarg Dabhi and Matt Kantor beat Matt Benedict and Gideon Yektain 6-0, 6-2 at second doubles, and Raj Ghayalod and Riley Smith lost 6-4, 7-6 to Madison Hummel and Will Cassau at third doubles.
On Saturday, Westhampton Beach lost a tough 4-3 match in a non-league battle with Ward Melville. The Patriots swept the singles matches, while the Hurricanes won all the doubles matches, highlighted by Ghayalod and Smith winning in three sets at third doubles. Cino lost in three sets at first singles to Cole Laffitte, winning the first set 6-4 before losing the second 7-6 and the third 6-1. Cino had a match point while up 5-4 in the second set, but Laffitte saved it and won in a tiebreaker, 7-4, to force a third set. Schwartz also lost in three sets at second singles.
In Monday's 5-2 win over Shoreham, Cino lost a tough three-set match at first singles to Shoreham's Chris Kuhnle, falling 6-4, 1-6 and 3-6. Schwartz, Halsey and Kapust all won easily in straight sets at second through fourth singles, respectively.
At first doubles, Lacetera and Dabhi also won easily, while at second doubles, Kantor and Ellenhorn also teamed up for an easy win. Ghayalod and Christian Prag lost in three sets at third doubles.