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Mar 13, 2018 3:01 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Season Preview: Numbers Are Low, But Improving, For Hampton Bays Boys Tennis

Mar 13, 2018 3:01 PM

Before the Hampton Bays boys tennis team begins taking aim at teams in Suffolk County League VIII, its focus has to be on its very existence.

For the opening few days of practice, just four players came to the courts at Hampton Bays Elementary School. It’s a drastic decline from last spring when head coach Diana Vamvakitis had 20 players on the roster. She hopes that the ongoing promotion of the sport, from fliers to announcements to word of mouth, will yield results—and fast—for the 2018 squad.

“Last year, we did have some players join our team after leaving other sports, so we’re hoping that will happen,” said the third-year coach. “I’ve asked these boys to bring their friends even if they’re beginners. They’ll come here and learn, and I think they’ll enjoy it.”

The lone returning starter from last year’s 2-11 team is Patricio Pulla, who competed at the varsity level as an eighth-grader, and again last spring as a sophomore. Playing the opposition’s top singles player offered up great experience for Pulla, who garnered All-League accolades. Vamvakitis expects that the junior’s year-round commitment to the game will produce even better results this spring.

“He’s a great player and he’s very athletic,” Vamvakitis said. “He played against all the great No. 1s, and he was right there with them. This offseason, I told him ‘any time you want to hit, just let me know,’ and he did. He’s very motivated and always has a positive attitude.”

Returning alongside Pulla is sophomore Danny King, who competed in exhibition matches a year ago but will be asked to step into a bigger role. New to the squad is a pair of freshmen, Jeremy Carcamo and Justin Korczak, each of whom will get every opportunity to compete at a high level for the Baymen.

The same can be said for any new recruits. As important as current team members are to the team’s success and viability, it’s even more important that they serve as ambassadors. Their efforts helped woo senior Carlos Encarnacion to practice on Friday and again on Monday. He will have to be a quick study with Hampton Bays’ season opener against Center Moriches looming on March 19.

The Baymen have played with a smaller roster before. Vamvakitis noted that the 2015 squad—a year before her arrival—fielded a team despite having only seven players. She and the team would welcome more newcomers in the coming days and weeks.

“We need to make people aware that this is a lifelong sport,” Vamvakitis said. “It’s something that you can go out and play anytime. It doesn’t cost money to come out here and play. I’d love for everyone to be out here whenever they can.”

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How much did Lars spend on these courts? Who got the construction contract? Funny that these got built before the roof on HS got replaced.

"For the opening few days of practice, just four players came to the courts at Hampton Bays Elementary School."
By dfree (547), hampton bays on Mar 14, 18 7:07 PM
Hampton Bays Rotary, Autumn Evening by the Sea, Joyce Oakland, Oaklands Restaurant