Following back-to-back losses, Eastport South Manor girls tennis coach Sharon Klune knew something had to change in order for her team to start winning and prove its worth in League VII.
And change was just what the Lady Sharks got as they edged neighborhood rival Westhampton Beach, 4-3, at home on September 16 to notch their first league win of the season.
“We made some adjustments to the lineup for the Westhampton match,” Klune said. “People who usually play singles played doubles and some of our doubles players moved to singles. We realized that the lineup we had wasn’t going to be strong enough so changes had to be made and the changes were effective. We are very happy with the outcome.”
ESM took a pair of singles and a pair of doubles matches against Westhampton Beach.
At first singles, eighth-grader Jackie Bukzin continued her dominance, winning once again in straight sets, downing Laura Halsey, 6-0, 6-1, while at third singles, Victoria Chan beat Jane Podlaski, 6-2, 6-4.
On the doubles courts, ESM won at first doubles where Laura Kesnig and Vanessa Amendola beat Sabrina Salvi and Gen Spanarkel, 6-4, 7-5. At second doubles, Lady Sharks Cassie Rivera and Sarah Jurgeielwicz swept Heather Marcella and Mira Patel, 6-3, 6-3.
The Lady Canes won at second singles as Jodie Sipala beat Nicole Horn, 6-3, 6-1, and at fourth singles with a 6-0, 7-6 (7-5) win by Sarah Strebel over Emily Casola.
The only doubles points for Westhampton Beach came at third doubles with a three-set victory by Yesha Dalal and Hailey Ciolino.
The day after the match with the Lady Hurricanes, the Lady Sharks were slated to face Shoreham/Wading River in a non-league match, a match that featured last season’s division finalists, Bukzin and Amy Manfredo. Manfredo won the 2012 Division IV title with a straight-set victory over Buckzin, who ultimately finished fourth at the county tournament and with All-State honors as a seventh-grader.
Bukzin was the only player on her team to win in the squad’s previous two matches, against William Floyd in the league opener on September 11 and East Islip in a non-league match on September 13. She won both matches in straight sets, including against East Islip’s Karen Serina who is one of the top players in Division III.
Prior to their match against ESM, the Lady Canes suffered a 6-1 loss to William Floyd at home on September 13. The only winner for Westhampton Beach that day was Laura Halsey at first singles with a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Emily Fernandez.
“Floyd won the division last year and they only lost one senior,” Czartosieski said. “They are looking very strong as most of their team is intact whereas we lost eight starters to graduation.”
Those losses are going to cause some growing pains for Westhampton Beach this season, however, coach Czartosieski believes that with dedication, there will be positives that come from this season.
“It’s without a doubt a rebuilding year and the struggle is going to be to keep the girls motivated,” Czartosieski said. “Hopefully, if the girls keep playing hard, the second time around through the schedule the matches will be close and we’ll be able to sneak a couple of wins.”
The Lady Hurricanes will host East Hampton on September 20.