TUCKERS 5, COLONIALS 2
Having faced the daily challenges of life in Suffolk County League VII, the Mattituck High School boys tennis team found itself with a different sort of challenge on Friday. With half of their lineup players away on a senior class trip, the Tuckers were left shorthanded for their match against William Floyd. Because of that, they had to forfeit two doubles matches, putting them in a 2-0 hole before the first ball was served.
Mattituck coach Mike Huey was concerned, but in the end he was gratified by the way his players came through with a 5-2 triumph on their home courts.
Garrett Malave, Parker Tuthill, Andrew Young and Charles Hickox all won their singles matches in straight sets to assure the victory.
Malave, the team’s top player, brought his season record to 10-3 with a 6-0, 6-2 defeat of Ray Jiang as he put away nine winners to Jiang’s two in a match that lasted just under 46 minutes.
Malave breezed through the first set in 18 minutes before hitting a stumbling block, dropping the first two games of the second set. But Malave soon recovered, outscoring Jiang by 24-17 over the final six games.
Jiang’s brothers, Brandon and Kevin, also suffered losses in second and third singles, respectively. Tuthill improved his season record to 11-1 with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over Brandon Jiang. Young beat Kevin Jiang, 6-1, 6-0.
Hickox, who has split time between fourth singles and first doubles, recorded a 6-3, 6-1 win over Chris Robertson.
The only three-setter of the day was in first doubles. Mattituck’s Ty Bugdin and Joe Macaluso, who had never played together before, earned a 6-1, 2-6, 6-2 result against Nick Janzer and Peter Rasmussen.
Since suffering a 7-0 loss to Mattituck (10-3, 7-3) on April 3, William Floyd (4-10, 3-7) has lost seven straight matches.
Friday’s win by the Tuckers was a testament to their strength at singles. They were missing Kevin Schwartz (fourth singles or first doubles), Tyler Rozhen (first doubles), Nick Rabkevich (second doubles), Joe Salice (third doubles) and Jake Nolan (third doubles), all of whom were away on the senior trip to Orlando, Fla. Huey said, pursuant to team rules, all five of them will sit out the team’s next match on Monday against Westhampton Beach.