The girls tennis season is the shortest of any high school sport. The first matches in Suffolk County will be played Sept. 1. By Oct. 6 the league seasons will be over.
That’s right. It goes fast. A mere 36 days for the regular season. In the blink of an eye, as they say.
“It is a sprint,” Mattituck coach Mike Huey said. He added, “You got to hit the ground running.”
The Tuckers (10-4 last year) will do that. They have three top singles players back, including All-County junior Liz Dwyer, to help the team navigate its way through the tricky waters of League VII.
Dwyer went 15-4, reached the division semifinals and led Mattituck into the playoffs last year. The Tuckers lost to Harborfields in the Suffolk County Team Tournament’s Round of 16.
Huey said Dwyer has continually raised her game.
“She practiced a lot over the summer and during the spring,” he said. “She’s looking really good. Her footwork and her movement are really good. She hits with a lot of power.”
In addition, Mattituck has Emily Mowdy (14-2), an All-League junior, at second singles and Drew Hahn (12-4), an All-Division junior, at third singles. The fourth singles position has been won by senior Jacey Lengyel.
A pair of juniors, Alex Talbot and Joy Davis, will play first doubles. The second doubles team will consist of senior Katherine Celic and junior Larysa Andreadis. Vying for spots on the third doubles team are junior Alissa Dabrowski, junior Alley Peters, senior Hannah Prokop and senior Cassey Nine.
“We’ll get our points in singles and first doubles,” Huey said. “If we can steal some points at second and third doubles, that will help us out tremendously.”
Mike Carver, who had never coached tennis before, had only been the Southold/Greenport coach for a week, and he seemed to be enjoying it immensely.
“It’s a real breath of fresh air so far,” he said. “… I’m having a lot of fun.”
Numbers are up for the Clippers (0-10), who have a junior varsity team for the first time in years (coached by Delia McBride). The varsity team has 10 returning players.
Among them is the starting singles lineup, featuring senior Sarah Janazzo at first singles. Emma Alvarez, a senior, and sophomores Case Vaccariello and Ally Boyle are also in the singles lineup.
Seniors Willow Wilcenski and Daisy Rymer will likely play first doubles. In contention for spots are seniors Daniella Menjivar and Grace Bruer, junior Alexandra Apadula, sophomore Bryanna Bay, senior Sarah Reilly and freshman Elizabeth Garcia.
“The girls have come out with a real good attitude,” Carver said. “They’ve been working hard.”
Two dates Carver undoubtedly has circled on his calendar are Sept. 13 and Oct. 5. The Clippers will play Riverhead on those days. Carver’s daughter, Meghan, is a freshman on the Riverhead team.
In the meantime, Carver is enjoying the summer weather. As Southold’s baseball coach, he is more accustomed to coaching in bitter weather during the spring.
He said, “The only thing I notice is I’m wearing shorts instead of winter parkas.”
Photo caption: Liz Dwyer was All-County last year as a junior for Mattituck, posting a 15-4 record. (Credit: Garret Meade, file)