Lucas Kosmynka brings a photogenic swing to the tennis court. And he’s not bad behind the camera, either.
It’s hard to say what Kosmynka is better known for at Mattituck High School — as the school’s top tennis player or for his talent with video. One stands a decent chance of finding Kosmynka holding a camera or a tennis racket at a given moment. The senior has done well with both.
Kosmynka has dabbled in still photography, but his work with video seems to be more in line with what he wants in his future. “I’ve been moving into narrative short films,” he said.
His work has received acclaim. “I think film is his real passion, and he’s so good at it,” said teammate and fellow senior Joe Sciotto, who started playing tennis, along with Kosmynka, when they were fourth-graders. Sciotto said when it comes to video, Kosmynka is “probably one of the best, if not the best around here.”
Kosmynka is no slouch on the tennis court, either. Last year he was an All-Conference player in the second singles position for Mattituck, which shared the Suffolk County League VIII championship with Southampton. But this year brought a big change for Kosmynka, who has moved into the first singles slot as Mattituck has been bumped up to League VII, where the competition is fiercer.
“I think it’s a big adjustment,” Mattituck coach Cory Dolson said. “He’s facing much tougher opponents every single match.”
Kosmynka showed some of the good things he can do on the court Tuesday. He put away 19 winners in a 6-2, 6-1 defeat of Southampton junior Ruben Schneiderman. Host Southampton won the team match, defeating Mattituck by a 4-3 score for the second time in 19 days.
“I think I played well,” Kosmynka said. “My first-serve percentage could have been better, but that’s something I got to work on.”
While Kosmynka wasn’t enthralled by his 56-percent accuracy on first serves, he did outpoint Schneiderman, 55-29. Schneiderman had first-serve issues, too, at 32 percent.
A Schneiderman service ace at deuce evened the games at 2-2 in the first set. Then Kosmynka ran off 28 points to Schneiderman’s 11 over the next seven games, which all fell in Kosmynka’s favor.
“He’s fast,” Dolson said of Kosmynka. “He’s got a good serve. He’s got good groundstrokes. He’s more of a baseline player … Yeah, he’s very, very well-rounded. There’s not a lot of weakness in his game.”
Sciotto, who had to withdraw and forfeit his third-singles match against Ryan Grigo after the first set because of a hyperextended right shoulder, said Kosmynka’s “baseline play is very consistent and he’s able to apply spin to the ball in any situation. He’s very good at attacking weaknesses. He’s a reactive player.”
Kosmynka, who brought his season record to 4-5, said most of the matches he has lost have been due to unforced errors. (He had seven Tuesday to Schneiderman’s 12). At the same time, he acknowledged that the competition at first singles is improving his game.
“I think I’m playing a lot smarter this year,” he said. “I’m hitting a lot more balls in. If you hit the balls in, you have a chance to win.”
Mattituck’s Savvas Giannaris did that enough to beat Wilson Green, 6-0, 6-2, at fourth singles. The Tuckers (2-7, 2-5) gained their other team point from the second doubles team of Alex Koch and Steve Moeck, who triumphed on a third-set tiebreaker. They topped Duke Fagan and Jose Martinez Ochoa, 3-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-3).
In the only other three-setter of the day, Southampton’s Luke Sacconaghi held off Chris Siejka at second singles, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
Southampton’s first doubles duo of Jomel DelaCruz and Billy Hattrick were 6-1, 6-2 winners over Dylan Kaputska and Kyle Schwartz. Third doubles also went to the Mariners (4-6, 3-4), with Aiden Campo and Elijah Halsey downing Jake Catalano and Ben Webb, 6-3, 6-3.
After graduating, Kosmynka will take his dual talents to Syracuse University, where he will study film production and play club tennis.
And, after that, who knows? The question was posed to Sciotto: Can you see Kosmynka one day becoming a famous film producer?
Sciotto answered, “I think he is one of the most headstrong, stubborn kids I ever met, so if anyone can do it, it’s him.”
Photo caption: Lucas Kosmynka is not only Mattituck’s top singles player, but he also has a knack for shooting video. (Credit: Bob Liepa)