The high school boys tennis standings for Suffolk County League VII may take some people by surprise, seeing Mattituck in first place. Tuckers coach Mike Huey, in all candor, admitted that he is one of them.
First place is a lofty setting for a team that entered the season with its top three singles players returning and question marks pretty much everywhere else, but that is the place the Tuckers (6-1, 5-0) occupied Tuesday morning. Shoreham-Wading River (3-3, 3-1) was second in a league that can boast a good deal of parity.
“I’ll be honest with you, I’m very pleased with the play so far,” Huey said. “I’m surprised we’re on top of this league. I really am. It’s all a matter of matchups, and we match up very well with these teams.”
Results had gone Mattituck’s way, the sole exception being a 5-2 non-league loss to Sachem East on April 13. The Tuckers won their next three matches.
Not that it has been easy, because it hasn’t been. Of Mattituck’s six wins, five have been by 4-3 scores. That includes an impressive 4-3 defeat of host Westhampton Beach last Wednesday. Mattituck’s No. 1 singles player, Garrett Malave, triumphed in a three-setter over Riley Smith, 6-2, 3-6, 6-3, in the decisive match. It was part of Mattituck’s sweep of the singles contests, with Parker Tuthill, Andrew Young and Ty Bugdin also winning.
Last Thursday the Tuckers won by a more comfortable margin on their home courts, beating Southampton, 6-1. Malave, Tuthill, Young and Pulith Peiris won their singles matches. In addition, the Tuckers took two of the three doubles matches. The second doubles team of Tucker Johansson and Lucas Kosmynka prevailed, as did the third doubles pairing of Austin Gao and Matt Wells.
What Huey rates as the biggest win from the first six, however, was a 4-3 victory over The Ross School on April 14. Tuthill, Young, Bugdin and the doubles team of Johansson and Kosmynka all won that day in Mattituck.
The strong start to the season has seen Tuthill and Young both open up with 7-0 records. Bugdin won five of his first six matches.
“They’re match ready,” Huey said. “I’m very pleased at the way they approach each match, and nothing seems to faze them. It’s like business as usual, another day at the office.”
The Tuckers won three straight League VIII championships from 2011 to 2013. Their last League VII title was in 2000. Although half a season remains to be played, it looks as if they are on course to add another one.
Huey, affirming confidence in his players, said, “I like our odds.”