A little Bishop McGann-Mercy green has blended in really well with Mattituck blue.
Kelsey Bundrick’s arrival on the scene couldn’t have been better timed, at least from the Mattituck High School girls tennis team’s point of view. For the first time in five years, the Tuckers have a first singles player not named Liz Dwyer. Dwyer’s graduation this past spring left a huge opening at the top of the singles lineup.
Mercy’s closure has scattered players from its talented tennis team to a number of schools throughout Suffolk County. Bundrick, a junior who lives in Mattituck, ended up playing for her hometown team.
Bundrick first attended Mercy as a seventh-grader and had played for its varsity team since she was an eighth-grader. Last year she played second singles for the Monarchs. She had difficulty coming to terms with the former Riverhead Catholic school closing its doors.
“I couldn’t believe it at first,” she said. “I just didn’t want to accept it, but then when I came [to Mattituck], I wasn’t expecting to like it, but I’ve really liked it so far.”
What’s not to like?
So far Bundrick has a perfect 4-0 record, mirroring Mattituck’s overall and League VIII record.
“I knew she was definitely going to be a strong player, an addition to our team, and she is,” Mattituck senior Ashley Perkins said. “She’s doing great.”
Mattituck’s new coach, Cory Dolson, didn’t know Bundrick was coming out for his team until the first day of practice. Even then, he didn’t know much about her, but the more he saw, the more he liked.
“She just gets better and better,” he said. “I’m still getting to know her, you know what I mean, but so far, so good. She’s a huge asset to the team.”
Not that the Bundrick name is new to Mattituck. Far from it. Her older sisters, Erica and Megan, played tennis and soccer, respectively, for Mattituck, and her brother, Matthew, was a wrestler for the Tuckers. Erica went on to play tennis for Saint Michael’s College in Vermont.
A consistent, smooth, patient player, Kelsey Bundrick demonstrated all those qualities Monday in her 6-3, 6-1 defeat of Center Moriches senior Hannah Tebbens. The two played some long points. Visiting Mattituck won the team match, 6-1.
“She’s not overpowering or anything,” Dolson said of Bundrick, adding: “She’s very unassuming and she’s more athletic than you first think she is, and once you really see her competing in longer matches and stuff, you really get a sense of how good she is.”
Perkins, a 6-2, 6-4 winner over Maddy Hujber at second singles, knows what it’s like to be on the other side of the net from Bundrick. “She doesn’t have to hit them hard every time,” Perkins said. “She takes her time. I’ve played against her in practice a couple of times and [she’s] just amazing. She’s a great player.”
Bundrick said she goes for winners more than she used to, and that was seen, too. She put away 19 winners to six by Tebbens.
In Bundrick’s previous matches, she won handily as well, beating Ross’ Maya Teixeira, 6-0, 6-0; Hamptons Bays’ Brianna Hemmings, 6-0, 6-1; and Riverhead’s Ryan Waski, 6-2, 6-0.
“She’s been dominant,” said Dolson.
That Riverhead match was particularly interesting since Waski — and four other Blue Waves — are former teammates of Bundrick’s at Mercy.
“It was weird but it was fun,” said Bundrick, who keeps in touch with her former teammates through social media.
Third singles player Julie Kosmynka and the first doubles team of Sarah Bihm and Mia Slovak brought their records to 4-0 for Mattituck Monday. Kosmynka downed Kaylee Walsh, 6-3, 6-3, while Bihm and Slovak were 6-4, 6-2 winners over Emma Brennan and Nicole Weinhofer.
Mattituck’s sweep of the singles matches included Jessica Scheer’s 6-3, 2-6, 6-0 victory over Alyssa Morano. Also bringing Mattituck a team point was the second doubles duo of Anne Hinnegan and Claudia Hoeg, who defeated Carolyn Estes and Nya Pemberton, 6-1, 6-1.
Center Moriches’ only team point came from third doubles. Emma Auffant and Savannah O’Brien recorded a 6-4, 6-3 win over Cat McGrath and Katie Parks.
Bundrick said going to school at Mattituck is different than it was at Mercy. She likes that she has more freedom. No uniforms. Use of cellphones is permitted. She can go off campus for lunch.
It looks as if that green-blue blend is a winner.
Photo caption: Former Bishop McGann-Mercy player Kelsey Bundrick is 4-0 as Mattituck’s first singles player this season. (Credit: Bob Liepa)