The East Hampton boys tennis team was bound to lose a league match sooner or later. It came on Friday.
The Bonackers came close to making it three consecutive seasons without a league loss—with five League VII matches remaining on their schedule coming in to Friday’s match—but host Westhampton Beach had other plans. Owen Williams and Josh Kaplan won a decisive first doubles match, 7-6, 6-3, over Jaedon Glasstein and Alex Weseley to give Westhampton Beach the 4-3 victory and hand East Hampton its first league loss since April of 2014.
East Hampton edged Westhampton Beach by the same 4-3 score on its home court on March 21, but the Hurricanes regrouped after that loss and won their next five matches. It was clear that Friday’s match was going to be another close one and that sole possession of the league title would be on the line. Now, as long as both teams win the remainder of their matches, East Hampton and Westhampton Beach will share the League VII title.
East Hampton head coach Katie Hefland said her team was simply outplayed. “We are disappointed with the loss but will play the rest of the season with a positive attitude and same desire to win,” she said.
What makes the win even more impressive for the Canes is that they were missing two key starters. First singles player Danny Tocco, and another starter in Adam Sheren, both missed the match due to family obligations. East Hampton was missing a starter at third doubles.
With Tocco and Sheren out, Westhampton Beach head coach John Czartosieski had to be a little more strategic with his starting lineup. He pushed Riley Smith up to the first singles slot, and he won, 6-2, 6-0, over Jack Louchheim. Then Czartosieski put his faith in his three doubles teams.
Kaplan and Williams came through with a close victory at first doubles; Andrew Hempel and Sean Toner defeated James Fairchild and Bradley Drubych in consecutive 6-3 sets; and Brennan Tomlinson and Andre Insalaco defeated Hunter Medler and Jonathan Jimenez, 6-3, 6-2. While Kaplan and Williams got the key win for the Canes, Hempel and Toner avenged a three-set loss at East Hampton when the two teams first met earlier in the season.
Czartosieski said he had to build his team’s confidence back up after that loss at East Hampton.
“We weren’t match-ready, we were playing one of the best teams in the league and playing them away, so we had a lot of things going against us early on,” he said.
“As the season has progressed, I feel my boys have been hitting the ball better, they’ve been a lot more consistent, and now everyone has stepped up since we were missing some key players today,” Czartosieski continued. “I thought our best shot would be to sweep the three doubles, and Riley would win at first singles, and that’s exactly what happened.”
East Hampton won second through fourth singles. Ravi MacGurn defeated Daniel Caputo, 6-1, 6-4; Jonny DeGroot beat Chase Moschella, 6-1, 6-2; and Luke Louchheim won with consecutive 6-1 scores over Pierce Rosen-Keith.
East Hampton and Westhampton Beach each have the entire spring break off. East Hampton hosts Shoreham/Wading River on Tuesday, April 18, at 4:30 p.m. and is scheduled to host William Floyd on Thursday, April 20, also at 4:30 p.m. The Bonackers are slated to host Ward Melville the following day in a non-league match at 4 p.m.
Westhampton Beach returns from the break on Monday, April 17, with a non-league home match against Half Hollow Hills East at 4:15 p.m. The Canes will then play at Rocky Point on Thursday, April 20, at 4 p.m.
The Mariners made a splash of their own on Friday in League VIII by defeating previously unbeaten Mattituck, 4-3. The victory improved Southampton to 4-2, good enough for second place, while the loss for the Tuckers put them in a first place tie with Southold/Greenport.
Southampton head coach Rich “Juni” Wingfield said it’s going to be a tight race to the finish for the league title. “No one’s undefeated in our league. It’s wide open,” he said.
Justin Hadix had the decisive win for Southampton over Mattituck’s Tucker Johansson at second singles. He won 6-4, 2-6, 6-3. Hadix has come out of the gates strong this season losing just one match so far to Riverhead’s top singles player, Jens Summelin.
Additional victories for Southampton included Brian Steidel defeating Joey Sciotta, 6-0, 6-1, at third singles, and Lachlan Desane was awarded a victory due to a forfeit at fourth singles. The Mariners’ top doubles pair of Alex Prag and Joe Gulli won, 7-5, 6-3, over Sam Fish and Mike Goodall.
Southampton has a busy week ahead of it when it returns from spring break. After it hosts Hampton Bays and Center Moriches on April 17 and 18, Southampton is scheduled to play at Southold/Greenport on Wednesday, April 19, and then the Mariners return home to play Eastport South Manor on Friday, April 21.
The Baymen halted a five-match losing streak to start the season with a 5-2 victory at Riverhead on Friday.
Bayman Juan Munoz defeated Jason Thompson, 6-3, 6-2, at second singles, and Edward Carballa won by forfeit at fourth singles. Batuhan Aykac and Gabe Guambana won first doubles, 6-2, 7-5, over Hector Ponce and Mairlon Alvarado, and second doubles pair Andrew Campos and Dario Vasquez defeated Alejandro Tomas and Richard Pascual, 6-4, 6-2. Baymen Yesui Jimenez and David Palacios won third doubles by forfeit.
After playing at Southampton on Monday, April 17, the Baymen host Mattituck on Wednesday, April 19, at 4 p.m. and will host William Floyd in a non-league match on Friday, April 21, at 4 p.m.