LIONS 6, CLIPPERS 1
Before it applies the finishing touches to its season, the Southold/Greenport boys tennis team decided to take a peak into its future.
Next year the Clippers be looking for a new first singles player. Josh Robinson, a third-year varsity player who has been the team’s top singles player for two years, will have graduated. So, with Monday’s match against Longwood carrying no significant implications, the auditions have begun.
Southold/Greenport coach Andrew Sadowski did some tinkering with the lineup. Robinson was pulled from his usual singles slot and paired with fellow senior Kieran Broderick at first doubles. Two juniors, Devyn Standish and David O’Day, who usually play second and third singles, respectively, were each bumped up a spot. Will Richter, a sophomore who is normally a first doubles player, was inserted at third singles.
“They are certainly the future,” Sadowski said of his younger players.
The future began Monday for the Clippers with a familiar result. They lost, 6-1, at Longwood High School.
Singles wins by Dave Barlow, Jake Maccaro and Indranel Mitra helped second-place Longwood (9-5, 9-3 Suffolk County League VIII) win its final match of the season, defeating Southold/Greenport (3-8, 3-8) for the second time this year.
Maccaro, a senior, completed his high school playing career with a tiebreaker victory over O’Day in the final match of the day. Maccaro, letting out a loud grunt with each shot he took, prevailed, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7-4).
Barlow handled Standish, 6-0, 6-1, and Mitra was a 6-1, 6-1 winner over Richter. Anthony Deitz of Longwood took a forfeit win at fourth singles.
Standish, playing first singles for the first time, got a taste of what life is like at the top of the lineup. It’s not easy. He was outpointed by Barlow, 49-19. Only two games went to 40-40. A big difference in the match was in first serves. Barlow put 54 percent of his first serves in play to Standish’s 29 percent.
“He got a nice little introduction,” Sadowski said. “I hope he learned that he has to change his style of play, to adjust to his opponents, that it’s not all just smashing the ball really hard, that there are players that are very athletic, they’re very good at returning balls, and when it’s needed, they raise it up a notch to win a point.”
Longwood’s two other points came in doubles. The first doubles team of Igor Artemowiez and Kip Jackson recorded a 6-3, 6-4 win over Broderick and Robinson, who never played doubles before. Mark Abrusio and Nick Zeir, playing third doubles, downed Drew Sacher and Greg Quist, 6-1, 6-1.
Southold/Greenport’s only point was provided by the No. 2 doubles team of Gary Prieto and Dylan Stromski. They were 6-3, 7-6 (7-5) winners over Evan Arena and Dan Chafkin.
Having graduated nine of 10 starters from last year’s team, this was supposed to be a rebuilding season for Longwood, but it turned into a lot more than that.
“I knew I had some talent on the JV,” Longwood coach Chris Garner said, “but I didn’t know how well it was going to mesh together, and it really just came together and we had a great group of guys.”
“Closing out the season, the one thing I’ve noticed is we’ve gotten better,” he continued. “We just tried focusing on trying to get better every week, and it really worked out well.”
The Clippers are scheduled to play their final match of the season tomorrow in Hampton Bays. Their record is somewhat misleading, considering that six of the team’s losses have been by 4-3 scores.
“Every match is pressure for everybody because we always know we’re relying on each other to do our best and get the win,” said Robinson, who will attend Springfield College (Mass.), but is not sure if he will play tennis. “But you have your off days, and that’s understandable. I think 4-3 losses are respectable losses. It’s not like we got shut out.”
Sadowski said there is value in players playing in close matches. “It’s learning to win that crucial point,” he said. “I think quite a few of them have started to really get that sense, now it’s time to dig a little deeper, and let’s get one point here.”
More than one of the Clippers described the season as being an enjoyable one.
“It’s really been an adventure,” said Broderick, a varsity rookie in only his second year in the sport. “Just a bunch of bros having fun, a lot of fun.”
Broderick senses that his high school days are nearing an end.
“My senior year is all over,” he said. “It’s a little scary. I’m going to be doing some real work soon. It’s crazy. That’s all I can say.”
EIGHTH-GRADER REACHES SEMIS Shoreham-Wading River eighth-grader Chris Kuhnle, the No. 3 seed in the Suffolk County Division IV individual tournament that was held Friday, Saturday and Monday in Shoreham, was ousted in the singles semifinals. Kuhnle lost to the No. 2 seed, Felipe Reyis of The Ross School, 6-4, 2-6, 6-4. Kuhnle had won his first three matches in the tournament in straight sets. He defeated Alan Rozet of Rocky Point, 6-0, 6-0; Andrew Davis of East Hampton/Bridgehampton/Pierson, 6-2, 6-2; and Ray Jiang of William Floyd, 6-0, 6-1.
Another eighth-grader, Garrett Malave of Mattituck, drew the No. 8 seed. That set up a quarterfinal meeting for him with the top-seeded player, defending champion Jeremy Dubin of Southampton, in the quarterfinals. Dubin was a 6-1, 6-0 winner.
It was a reminder of how tough the competition was.
“It’s incredible,” Mattituck coach Mike Huey said. “There are good players in this tournament.”
Malave (13-2) was extended to three-setters in his first two matches, a 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 triumph over Alex Reiley of Eastport/South Manor and a 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 result against Justin Cabrera of Center Moriches.
“He did very well,” Huey said. “You run into the No. 1 seed, Jeremy Dubin, and he was head and shoulders above everybody.”
Parker Tuthill of Mattituck won his first-round match, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4, over Seth Conrad of Riverhead. But then Tuthill fell victim to Dubin, 6-0, 6-0.
Southold/Greenport junior Devyn Standish took a win in the tournament, beating Jake Maccaro of Longwood, 6-0, 7-5. In the second round, Standish lost to the No. 4 seed, Kevin Ferguson of William Floyd, 6-2, 6-2.
The Mattituck doubles team of Stefan Kuehn and Austin Tuthill, Parker’s older brother, made a second-round exit with a 6-0, 4-6, 6-2 loss to Ross’ Mike Petersen and Jordan Schimmer. The fifth-seeded Kuehn and Tuthill, who are 12-1 this season, had won their opening-round match, 7-6 (5), 6-2, over Mark Abrusio and Evan Arena of Longwood.
The eighth-seeded Southold/Greenport doubles team of Dylan Stromski and Will Richter fell to Longwood’s Igor Artemowiez and Kip Jackson, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.