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Oct 4, 2018 9:10 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Girls Tennis Locks Up League Title, But Has Sights Set On Bigger Prizes

The Westhampton Beach girls tennis team wrapped up a perfect 12-0 regular season and with it the League VII title. CARRIE BENDER
Oct 9, 2018 9:49 AM

The Westhampton Beach girls tennis team defeated East Hampton, 7-0, on October 2 to finish the regular season a perfect 12-0, garnering the League VII title. While that may be a big accomplishment for some teams, the Lady Hurricanes expect to continue to add to that as the postseason is just about to get underway.

“Goal number one has been achieved. Now goal number two is to bring home the county title,” Westhampton Beach head coach John Czartosieski said.

The last time Westhampton Beach won a county title was 2008, as part of a string of three consecutive county titles. That run came to an end the following season in the county semifinals and since then just getting to the county finals has been elusive, as Czartosieski put it. But the longtime head coach is confident that this year’s crop will propel the team this postseason, starting with the Division IV Individual Tournament which started this past Saturday at Shoreham/Wading River High School and finished up on Tuesday. Results of that match can be found at 27east.com and in next week’s issue of The Press.

Directly following the division tournament is the Section XI, or Suffolk County, Individual Tournament, also at Shoreham, on October 12, 13, and 15. The Section XI Team Tournament—the crown jewel in the eyes on the Lady Canes—starts directly after the county tournament on October 16. Westhampton Beach will get a first-round bye and is expected to get the first or second seed and will host its first match on Wednesday, October 17.

While the Lady Canes are not overlooking the upcoming division tournament, Czartosieski said their main goal is the county team title.

“The way I tried to encourage them to look at it is, this tournament this weekend is really like a bonus,” he explained on October 3. “We usually do very well at Divisions, historically we have anyway, so it’s really a way for them to get extra practice and play in an individual tournament. Hopefully they all make counties and all of this helps us get ready for the team tournament, that’s the main goal. It has evaded us for 10 years. We always hit a roadblock near the quarterfinals, but I think that won’t be the case this time around.”

Rose Hayes, the freshman from East Moriches who transferred in from Mercy in the offseason, has been the top singles player for the Lady Canes all season. She’s undefeated and has only allowed a single match point all season long. That came in the season finale against East Hampton’s Becca Kuperschmid in what was a 6-1, 6-0 win for Hayes. The addition of Hayes has created a much deeper lineup for Westampton Beach, which was returning its entire team from last season before Hayes was brought into the picture. That includes five key seniors in Onalee Batcheler, Emma Bender, Brooke Del Prete, Marin VanderSchaff and Juliet Tomaro.

Against East Hampton, Batcheler, VanderSchaff and Helena Jones all won handily at second, third and fourth singles. Bender teamed up with Del Prete at first doubles and defeated Olivia Barris and Caroline Micallif, 6-2, 6-2. Rose Peruso and Juliet Tomaro, who have been playing together the longest of the Lady Canes’ doubles tandems, defeated Chiara Bedini and Katie Annicelli, 6-2, 6-3. Katelyn Stabile and Jen Curran defeated Kaylee Mendelman and Eva Nojtvsiak, 6-2, 6-1.

In the postseason, Czartosieski is most likely going to use a slightly different lineup. Hayes will play at first singles, but he could go with Batcheler or Del Prete at second singles or play them together at doubles. VanderSchaff should play at her usual third singles position and Katelyn Stabile, who has been a key call-up from the junior varsity as a freshman, will play at fourth singles. Bender and Curran will most likely team up at doubles, along with Peruso and Tomaro.

“I have a core of five senior starters, most of them have been on the team since they were either freshmen or longer. This is what happens when you are dedicated to the game and to the team and you’re working real hard to improve. This is now the fruits of their labor coming to a head,” Czartosieski said. “They’ve been working for this for a really long time. I knew with all of these girls coming back, and with the addition of Rose, and Katelyn from the middle school, that we’d be that much deeper this year. Depth is what carries a team to the county title. And I have some really decent young players as well who are hoping to fill in these positions after these seniors graduate.”

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