Whether it’s in the Mattituck High School hallways or out on the school’s tennis courts in the offseason during frigid weather, one is bound to see Lucas Kosmynka with a tennis racket in hand.
That explains a lot.
“He’s a student of the game,” said Cory Dolson, who succeeds Mike Huey as Mattituck’s coach. “He loves playing tennis. He’s the kind of kid who’s on the courts all year-round, when it’s cold. The kid has always got a tennis racket in his hand.”
Kosmynka’s dedication to tennis earned him All-Conference distinction last year and now the senior is Mattituck’s first singles player.
“He’s got a real good mindset about him,” Dolson said. “He doesn’t get too up or too down and he plays with a lot of confidence.”
Mattituck (12-3) was the League VIII co-champion with Southampton last year and went two matches into the Suffolk County Team Tournament. Kosmynka heads a singles lineup that includes senior Joe Sciotto at second singles, senior Chris Siejka at third singles and freshman Dylan Kaputska in the No. 4 spot.
Meanwhile, seniors Savvas Giannaris and Kyle Schwartz are slated for first doubles. The second doubles duo consists of seniors Jake Catalano and Victor Regalado. Two sophomores, Alex Koch and Steve Moeck, play third doubles.
The Tuckers can also draw from seniors Ben Webb, Alp Kilinic and Aiden Reilly, who are all new to the team.
Mattituck has moved up to League VII, where the top four teams will qualify for the playoffs. Their league opponents are Westhampton Beach, East Hampton/Bridgehampton/Pierson, Southampton, Southold/Greenport and Shoreham-Wading River.
“The competition will be a little bit tougher for us, but that’s fine,” Dolson said. “We look forward to it as a challenge, and the kids are going to get better every day.”
The news that Devin Quinones has emerged as Southold/Greenport’s top singles player entering the season might have come as a surprise to outsiders, but not to coach Andrew Sadowski.
“No, I wasn’t surprised because I know he had been working,” Sadowski said of the senior. “He came in with higher expectations for himself. He’s even at the point where he’s seriously considering playing tennis in college.”
Quinones was a Suffolk Division IV doubles champion last year with Cole Brigham. He has defeated twins Jacob and Xavier Kahn to reach the top spot in the team’s singles ladder, at least as of Monday.
“His groundstrokes are more consistent,” Sadowski said. “He’s also playing more patiently. He’s not trying to rush everything.”
All-County senior Xavier Kahn was in the second singles slot, with sophomore James Hayes third and freshman Calvin Karsten fourth.
First doubles will be a fluid situation. The Kahns, who want to play together as a doubles team in the division tournament, will play first doubles at times, as will Brigham and Quinones, said Sadowski.
Meanwhile, senior Van Karsten and sophomore Ryan Fulda have been paired at second doubles. Senior Ethan Vandenburg and sophomore Matthew Messana make up the third doubles team.
New to the team are junior Drew Wolf and seniors John Montgomery and Joe Cichanowicz.
Southold (7-7) finished third in League VII last year and won a home playoff match over Miller Place before losing to Half Hollow Hills East.
Sadowski said that regardless of where players play in the lineup, there remains a team-first mentality.
“As they understand, this is a team, what they do as a team,” he said. “That’s what Southold/Greenport tennis has been working toward, to be competitive and to give us a chance to win matches.”
Photo caption: Lucas Kosmynka, an All-Conference senior, will play first doubles for Mattituck. (Credit: Bob Liepa, file)