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Sep 12, 2017 9:59 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Girls Tennis Preview: East Hampton, Westhampton Beach To Battle in League VII; Hampton Bays, Southampton Will Compete in League VIII

Westhampton Beach is returning its entire team from last season, including Emma Bender. CAILIN RILEY
Sep 12, 2017 10:24 AM

League VII in girls tennis will be extremely competitive this season.

William Floyd, after defeating Westhampton Beach, 4-3, on Monday, appears to have the early leg up on the rest of the competition, which includes East Hampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton, Mercy, Mattituck, and Eastport South Manor, led by reigning Suffolk County Champion Jackie Bukzin.

Hampton Bays and Southampton will continue to compete in League VIII this season, where league-champion favorite Shoreham/Wading River has already shown it can match up against almost everyone, off to a 3-1 start, with its only loss coming in a non-league 4-3 defeat to powerhouse Half Hollow Hills West.

East Hampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton

Katie Helfand returns to the fold for the Lady Bonackers after taking last season off due to the birth of her child. East Hampton, coached by Fausto Hinojosa last season, went 9-3 and qualified for the Suffolk County team tournament, where it lost in the first round.

Becca Kuperschmid, a junior, returns to her number one singles position this season. She reached the quarterfinals of the Division IV Tournament last season and was eliminated in the first round of the county tournament. She’ll be looking to go further in each tournament later this fall.

Also returning are senior Pamela Pillco and junior Caroline Micallef. Junior Sammi Schurr is also returning.

East Hampton dropped its first two non-league matches to Half Hollow Hills East and Commack to start the season but got itself into the win column in its first league match of the season in a 4-3 victory over Mercy at home on Friday. Pillco, Kaylee Mendelmen and Eva Wojtusiak all won their matches at second, third and fourth singles, respectively. Annelise Mendelmen and Olivia Barns picked up a win at second doubles.

Westhampton Beach

The Lady Hurricanes finished third in League VII last season, but as head coach John Czartosieski noted, each one of his players from last season has returned, “one year older, stronger, improved and hungry for a league title.”

The singles lineup will be filled out by all juniors, with Emma Bender, Brooke Del Prete, Onalee Batcheller and Marin Vander Schaaf. Doubles players include seniors, Avery Lagattolla, Daniella Tagliavia, Naomi Graney, Gabrielle Topping; junior Juliet Tomaro, and sophomores, Rose Peruso, Jenn Curran, Rieve Delisle and Helena Jones. Peruso and Tomaro were All-County last year, while Vander Schaaf, Delisle and Jones were All-League.

Westhampton Beach has already picked up non-league victories over Bayport/Blue Point, Patchogue/Medford and Smithtown East. Its latest victory was its first League VII match of the season, a 6-1 home victory over Mattituck on Friday. Naomi Graney defeated Liz Mason, 6-2, 4-6, 6-3, at fourth singles.

Southampton

With seven seniors on last year’s team, the Lady Mariners graduated the majority of their lineup. On top of that, Mariana Figuerido, an All-League player last season, decided to play soccer this season, and Caroline Oakley, who head coach Richard “Juni” Wingfield expected to be an up-and-coming player this season, suffered an injury early on and has no timetable on returning.

That being said, Southampton still has a number of girls returning and has high hopes of being at the top of the League VIII standings by the end of the regular season. Senior co-captains, Madison West and Lucy De Los Santos, should appear regularly at the top of the lineup, along with returning junior Charlotte Ferguson. Seniors, Emmi Whitall, Keizha Mabulay, Gabby Allam; juniors, Olympia Campbell, Alexis Phillips and Christine Szafranski and sophomore Isabella Ellams have all cracked the starting lineup in the early going.

Southampton lost a tight 4-3 match at home to Shoreham on September 5 but rebounded nicely with a 7-0 victory at Hampton Bays on Thursday, September 7.

Hampton Bays

Head coach Diana Vamvakitis and the Lady Baymen are excited about the upcoming season. Although they lost their top singles players in Ivana Ocampos and Juliana Gutierrez to graduation, overall numbers have jumped to 20 girls on the varsity.

A trio of seniors—Gia Rosante, Anna Harris and Jackie Mujsce—will lead the team this season. Senior Dana Klager, junior Sylvia Roldan and sophomores, Marissa Kennedy and Riley Stotzky, will all see time in the starting line, as will newcomer Brianna Hemmings, a sophomore.

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