Mariners Win Two of Three East Hampton Battles Tough Teams

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The East Hampton tennis team faced both a familiar foe and a county powerhouse in a pair of non-league matches last week, beating former League VII rival Southampton 6-1 on March 25 before falling 7-0 to a dominant East Islip team the following day. ?Both games were played on the road, which is where the Bonackers will be until April 10, when they host Half Hollow Hills East in a non-league match at East Hampton Indoor Tennis. East Hampton will play all its home matches at the indoor facility this season as new tennis courts at the school are currently under construction.?Meanwhile, Southampton rebounded from its loss to the Bonackers by winning its first two games in League VIII play in convincing fashion. The Mariners got past Hampton Bays 7-0 at home on March 26 before beating Riverhead 6-1 in an away match on Friday.?In the battle between the two Hamptons teams on March 25, the Mariners won at first singles as Jack Keenan beat Zach Newberger 6-2, 6-0. The rest of the matches went to East Hampton as Jimmy Strauss beat seventh-grader Jeremy Dubin 6-4, 6-1, overcoming a 4-0 first-set lead for Dubin. Brian Fink beat Fred Havemeyer 6-2, 6-0 and Dan Horwith beat Tommy Price 6-0, 6-2 to round out singles play.?In doubles matches, Bonackers John Sanabria and Dylan Sanicola beat twin brothers Matt and Josh King 6-2, 6-3 at first doubles. J.J. Burke and David Rubenstein got past Luke O’Connor and Nick Pobat at second doubles, losing the first set 7-5 before rallying for 6-2 and 6-1 wins to take the match. At third doubles, Carlos Uchupailla and Luke Scarpulla beat Andrew Batchellor and David Melo 7-5, 6-1.?”It was a good match and it was good to get the first win under our belt,” East Hampton head coach Jim Nicoletti said. “Southampton has a nice young team.”?The next day, the Bonackers had a tough time against a powerful East Islip team, although Nicoletti said he was happy with the efforts of his singles players. Newberger was downed 6-1, 6-4 at first singles by John Wilfiger while Strauss lost 6-2, 6-4 to Chris Buzzi at second singles. Fink fell 6-2, 7-5 to John Porano at third singles and East Hampton forfeited at fourth singles due to a lack of available players that day.?”East Islip is one of the top teams in the county,” Nicoletti said. “They’re right up there with Half Hollow Hills East and West, Islip and Westhampton. While we got beat 7-0, I thought we played pretty well.”?Nicoletti said he was glad to see that in all three singles matches, his players scored more points in the second sets.?East Hampton was less competitive in doubles action with the first doubles duo of Sanabria and Sanicola falling 6-4, 6-1 to Dave Lobo and Suraj Patel. At second doubles, Horwith and Luke Sweetman were downed 6-3, 6-1 by Dan Bonner and Nick Bacur while at third doubles, Rubenstein and Scarpulla lost 6-0, 6-1 to Mike Nardorf and Carlo Basinski.?Nicoletti says he hopes his players improve after facing tough teams like Islip in non-league affairs.?”We’ve got some good, stiff competition,” he said, referring to other upcoming non-league battles scheduled against Half Hollow Hills East, Islip, Commack and Ward Melville, as well as League VII foe Westhampton Beach. “I’m trying to really get it across to the team that we’re going to be playing some good teams and we’re taking it as a challenge. We want to step up and improve in each match.”?Nicoletti added that the League VII schedule won’t offer any respite either. Aside from the Hurricanes, who are expected to dominate once again, Nicoletti said Shoreham/Wading River, Rocky Point, Longwood and Mattituck should all be competitive.?”Of the five teams, the ones that play the toughest in the close matches are going to have the advantage,” he said. ?East Hampton will face Westhampton Beach on the road on April 2 at 4:30 p.m. and will travel to Longwood on April 3 for a match at the same time. The Bonackers will be at Shoreham/Wading River for a 4 p.m. match on Friday.?

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