Settling for second place isn’t usually a stated goal at the beginning of the season, but for the Southampton girls tennis team, it’s a pretty nice accomplishment.
The Lady Mariners (7-2 in League VII, 8-4 overall) were poised to earn that distinction at the beginning of this week, sitting in second place in the league behind unbeaten Mattituck (10-0), the only team it has lost to in the league this year. As of Monday morning, they had three matches left to finish out the regular season, all against teams they defeated in the first go around this year. By all accounts, it has been a great season for Southampton, a team that is defined by youth. All of its top players will return next year.
The Lady Mariners have won three of their last four matches, not including a battle with Shoreham/Wading River that was scheduled for Monday, October 7. (For results, see this week’s Monday Roundup article). On September 25, Southampton lost, 6-1, in a non-league match at Harborfields, but then reeled off three straight wins—a 4-3 triumph over Walt Whitman, also in a non-league match, on September 27; a 6-1 win at Southold/Greenport on October 2; and a 5-2 home win over Riverhead on Friday. Against Riverhead, the highlight of the match was a three-set grinder at first doubles, where Lady Mariners Julia Kepczynska and Marcelina Kropiwnicka beat Lydia Keiffert and Courtney Troyan, 6-2, 3-6, 7-5. Keiffert and Troyan were undefeated going into the match, and were seeded in the top six in last year’s conference tournament. At second doubles, Southampton earned another three-set win, with Olivia Bruyn and Mariah Neknez beating Kate Prwalkine and Amy Methvan, 6-3, 3-6, 7-5. Third doubles was also thrilling—Pauline Delacruz and Johanna Moore won the first set, 6-1, lost the second, 7-5, and were down, 5-2, in the decisive third set before winning five straight games to take a 7-5 win and earn the point for Southampton. They beat Danielle Alaimo and Abigail Wehunt.
In the singles lineup, Noa Dubin easily defeated Sharon Carter at the top spot, and at second singles, Southampton’s Cecelia Scheuer was forced to forfeit to Kathryn Chemilewski after twisting her knee. At third singles, Keynu Brown lost, 3-6, 6-3, 3-6, to Cassidy Brown, while at fourth singles, Jade Kalbacher beat Terri Merrill, 6-0, 6-1.
Southampton got past Southold/Greenport in a 6-1 match despite missing Dubin that day. Kepczynska, at first singles, lost to Alexandra Small, 3-6, 6-3, 6-7 (4-7), but at second singles, Kropiwnicka beat Victoria Piechnik, 6-1, 6-2. At third singles, Bank won, 6-3, 6-1, against Jamie Grigoris, and at fourth singles, Kalbacher beat Willow Wilcenski, 6-2, 6-0.
Bruyn and Neknez beat Jess Rizzo and Shannon Quinn, 3-6, 6-1, 7-6 (11-9) in a tight match at first doubles, Delacruz and Moore prevailed at second doubles, beating Cari Gehring and Caroline Metz, 6-0, 6-2. Southold/Greenport forfeited at third doubles.
Against Whitman, Dubin grinded out a 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 win over Rini Halder at first singles, while Scheuer beat Jordan Lanz, 6-2, 6-1, at second singles. Susannah Knoebel lost to Paola Cespedes, 6-3, 1-6, 3-6, at third singles, and Molly Squires lost, 2-6, 6-2, 6-1, at fourth singles. Knoebel and Squires filled in for Banks and Kalbacher, who were out that day.
At first doubles, Kepczynska and Kropiwnicka beat Maryrose Store and Nikki Smith, 6-1, 6-4, and at second doubles, Neknez and Megan Goleski had to forfeit to Sabrina Greenberg and Nisha Patel midway through the match when Goleski became ill. Bruyn replaced Goleski and the teams finished out the match, with Southampton winning, 7-5, 6-0, but the point still went to Whitman because of the change of players. At third doubles, Delacruz and Moore beat Elizabeth Silverman and Laura McAuley, 6-0, 6-2.
In the loss to Harborfields, Kropiwnicka earned Southampton’s only point, beating Christina Ferrante, 6-3, 7-5, at third singles. Southampton lost in three sets in two other matches. At first singles, Dubin lost, 6-3, 6-4, to Alexa Goetz, a middle schooler who is ranked among the top 10 in her age group in the USTA in the state and is also nationally ranked.
The Lady Bonackers (5-2, 7-2 overall) split a pair of matches in League VII last week, beating Mercy, 6-1, at home on October 2, before a 4-3 loss at Ross (6-3, 7-4) that halted a six-match win streak.
Against Mercy (1-6, 4-7), East Hampton swept the singles match. At first singles, Isabel Peters beat Jamie Lessard, 7-5, 6-2; at second singles, Maddie Aldrich beat Katie Brownfiel, 6-1, 6-4; at third singles, Maggie Pizzo beat Angelica Oinack, 6-0, 6-0; and at fourth singles, Julia Talasko beat Nicole Gravagna, 6-4, 6-3.
Dannie Dunphy and Gillian Neubert teamed up for a 6-4, 7-6(7-3) win over Shannon Merker and Delaney Macchirole at first doubles. Mercy won its only point at second doubles, with Jackie Zaweski and Micaela Zebroski beating Lily Kot and Cece Combemale, 6-0, 6-2. At third doubles, Maxine DeHavenon and Makenzie Scheerer beat Madga Duda and Savannah Siejka, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.
Against Ross, East Hampton won all three doubles matches, but couldn’t take a win in the singles draw. At first doubles, Dunphy and Neubert beat Constance Caiola and Zoe Yektai, 6-1, 6-2, and at second doubles, Carly Grossman and Maggie Pizzo beat Hannah Dayton and Sophie Cassou, 6-0, 6-1. At third doubles, Makenzie Scheere and Maxine DeHavenon beat Daisy Gallaher and Livia Azevedo, 4-6, 6-1, 6-3.
At first singles, Peters lost, 6-1, 6-3, to Abigail Okin; at second singles, Aldrich lost, 6-1, 6-2, to Rory Gallaher; at third singles, Combemale lost, 6-2, 7-6(7-3) to Kendall Scala; and at fourth singles, Kot lost, 6-2, 6-4, to Amanda Mintz.
The Lady Hurricanes fell to 2-6 in League VII, 2-9 overall after going 1-2 in matches last week. They began the week with a 4-3 win at Mercy on September 30, but followed that up with 6-1 losses against both undefeated league leader William Floyd and third-place Ross. Against Ross at home on October 2, Laura Halsey got the only win for Westhampton Beach, beating Constance Caiola, 6-1, 6-1, at first singles. Westhampton Beach lost the rest of the singles match in straight sets. At third doubles, Bo Felske and Hailey Ciolino pushed their match with Daisy Gallaher and Livia Azevedo to three sets, but lost, 6-3, 2-6, 6-7(4-7).
Halsey also had Westhampton Beach’s only win against Floyd, beating Emily Fernandez, 6-1, 6-1, at first singles. The rest of the matches were straight-sets losses for Westhampton Beach.
Against Mercy, Halsey beat Shannon Merker, 6-2, 7-5, at first singles, and at fourth singles, Sarah Strebel beat Nicole Gravagna, 7-6 (9-7), 6-2. Sabrina Salvi and Gen Spanarkel beat Angelica Oinack and Katie Brownfiel, 7-6 (7-3), 6-3 at second doubles, and at third doubles, Yesha Dalal and Mira Patel prevailed in three sets, beating Magda Duda and Savannah Sieska, 6-7(5-7), 6-1, 7-5.
Teams wrapped up their regular season matches this week, and will send players to the Division IV (Leagues VII and VIII) Individual Tournament at William Floyd High School starting on Saturday. Rounds One and Two will begin at 9 a.m., and players who advance will return for the quarters and semis on Monday, followed by the finals and consolation matches on Tuesday.