With only 16 days to prepare for its season-opening match, the Mattituck High School boys tennis team faces plenty of questions over its lineup.
“Everything is up in the air,” Mattituck Coach Mike Huey said. “Right now I have no idea what my lineup’s going to be.”
While the particulars remain to be played out, one thing is clear: The Tuckers (7-5 last year) have depth and plenty of options.
“I think we’re the team to beat in League VIII,” said Huey.
Huey said that on a given day, any of his players could beat Joe Pfaff, a senior who was Mattituck’s first singles player last year.
Pfaff and the team’s other two top singles players from last season, seniors Connor Davis and Casey Ciamaricone, are back. Davis, who rejoined the team for practice on Monday after playing for Mattituck’s Long Island champion basketball team, went 10-2 as a second singles player last year.
A pair of seniors, Kevin Reyer and Jeff Strider, went 10-3 at second doubles in 2010.
Huey said two seventh graders, Garrett Malave and Parker Tuthill, will play somewhere in the lineup.
The other new additions to the squad are Jack Baglivi, Gram Homan, Stefen Kuehn, Victor Thuroe, Austin Tuthill and Steve Urwand. They are all juniors except for Urwand, a sophomore.
“I think the team’s going to be really good this year,” Pfaff said. “It’s like almost anyone can beat anyone.”
In the meantime, positions need to be settled.
“Nothing’s going to be set in stone,” Huey said. “It’s going to be how people are playing and how hard they work.”
If the Tuckers have question marks, the Southold First Settlers (8-4) have even more. Joshua Robinson, a junior, is the only returning player from last season.
Among the 24 players trying out for the varsity and junior varsity teams are three seniors — Pat Sinclair, Chris Kirincic and Ernie Kozlowska.
“We’re very pleased with what we have,” Southold Coach Andrew Sadowski said. “We’ve had a lot of young guys — a lot of freshmen and sophomores — come out for the first time, and they’re doing really well. They’re working hard, and they’re looking forward to playing.”
“I think we’ll be competitive,” he added. “As far as the matches, results, who knows? We have to see what other teams bring. But the thing that I’m pleased to see is that they’re coming with the expectations of working and improving. Everyone’s been working right from day one.”