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May 7, 2018 3:54 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Southampton Boys Tennis Season Comes To An End At Division Tournament

Mariner Justin Hadix DREW BUDD
May 7, 2018 4:44 PM

Southampton boys tennis head coach Richard “Juni” Wingfield asks his players a question before any big match or tournament: “If you knew there was no tomorrow, how would you play today?”

The answer he always wants to hear, of course, is that his players are going to give it their all. As long as they do that, he’s happy.

Although none of his players was able to qualify for the final day of the Division IV Individual Tournament on Monday at William Floyd High School, Wingfield was able to take solace in knowing that his players played their best. He also was proud of how many players he was able to get in the tournament in the first place: The Mariners had three players make the singles draw and six players, or three pairs, make the doubles draw.

Ruben Schneiderman was able to win his first match on Friday, winning 6-4, 6-4, over Nick Dow of Shoreham/Wading River. He was eliminated by Southold’s Xavier Kahn in the next round, 6-3, 6-1.

Kahn also eliminated Mariner Michael Daffy in their first-round match. Luke Saccanaghi lost his first-round match to Josh Kaplan of Westhampton Beach, who faced teammate Danny Tocco in the singles final on Monday afternoon.

Two of Southampton’s doubles pairings reached the round of eight on Saturday. Brian Steidle and Justin Hadix, after winning their first two matches on Friday, faced East Hampton’s Alex Weseley and Jamie Fairchild, the second seed in the bracket, and lost, 7-6, 6-0, on Saturday.

Jomel De La Cruz and Billy Hattrick also won their first two matches before having to face top-seeded Southold pair Devin Quinones and Cole Brigham, whom they lost to, 6-4, 6-3.

Lachlane Desane and Ben Zaloga were the other doubles pair for Southampton. They lost their first-round match to the fourth-seeded pair, East Hampton’s Miles Clark and Matthew McGovern, 6-3, 6-2.

Southampton and Mattituck tied for the League VIII title last week after the Tuckers defeated William Floyd in their final regular season match on May 1. Since only one team from League VIII can qualify for the Section XI Team Tournament, Southampton traveled to Mattituck on May 2 for a playoff match to see which team would advance. The two teams had split their regular season matches, and both came down to fourth singles.

Last week’s match, though, came down to third singles, between Schneiderman and Sam Fish.

Schneiderman won the first set, 6-3, and was leading the second set, 5-4, before Fish came back to force a tiebreaker, which he won, 7-4. Fish then won the third and deciding set, 6-1, allowing Mattituck to enter the team tournament, which begins May 15.

Wingfield was so confident that Schneiderman was going to win his match that he put all of his attention on the doubles matches. But he said he wasn’t disappointed that Schneiderman lost.

“I would have liked to have played in the team tournament, but am I disappointed? No,” he said. “It’s like this any time we play Mattituck—anything can happen.

“We learned a lot of life lessons last week with the match in Mattituck and the division tournament,” Wingfield continued. “Sports is really a metaphor for life and how you’re going to perform when you’re faced with adversity. I told the kids that they were going to leave the tournament with more questions than answers, but it’s important for them to understand, especially the seniors, that’s how life is.”

Steidle, Hadix and Zaloga are the only three seniors graduating next month, leaving the team in good shape for next year, when it’s expected to make the jump to the more competitive League VII.

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