Westhampton Beach Racks Up Tennis Accolades

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This time, they don’t have to share.

The Westhampton Beach boys tennis team wrapped up sole possession of the League VII championship last week with a 5-2 win over rival Ross (10-2) in East Hampton on May 1, improving to a perfect 12-0 in league play, 13-2 overall. The teams shared the league title last season, but the Hurricanes were intent on finishing alone at the top this time around, a goal they achieved in the final match of the regular season against the squad that has become their fiercest rival. The Hurricanes won three of the four singles matches, with Cooper Lacetera beating Jan Menke 7-6 (7-3), 4-6, 6-2 at first singles, Kevin Cino beating Nico Osch 6-0, 6-0 at second, and Matt Higgins beating Fuad Neto 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 at fourth. Beecher Halsey and Luke Jurow teamed up for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 win at second doubles, and Raj Ghayalod and Riley Smith beat Maddison Hummel and Jack Boyland 7-5, 1-6, 6-3 at third doubles.

After the title-clinching victory, the Hurricanes set their sights on the Division IV individual tournament, where their dominance continued. The program claimed both the singles and doubles crowns on Monday afternoon, with top-seed Cooper Lacetera defending his title after beating Shoreham/Wading River’s Chris Kuhnle, seeded second, in a tough three-set battle, winning 2-6, 6-4, 6-0, and the second-seeded doubles team of Zach Ellenhorn and Brian Schwartz beating Ross’s Dan Okin and Harrison Rowen, 6-4, 6-1. Okin and Rowen were the top seeds in the doubles draw.

Lacetera, Schwartz and Ellenhorn earned All-County honors by making it to the semis of the division tournament, and will compete in the Suffolk County Tournament, which starts on Saturday at William Floyd High School. The top four singles players and top four doubles teams in the county earn All-State honors, and the top three in each draw will advance to states.

On his way to the finals, Lacetera beat Sean Brogan of ESM 6-0, 6-0, and dispatched Parker Tuthill of Mattituck 6-1, 6-1, before a 6-2, 6-1 win over Mattituck’s Andrew Young. He beat fifth seed Julian MacGurn of East Hampton by the same score in the semifinals. Ellenhorn and Schwartz won their first three matches 6-0, 6-0, before beating Southampton’s Elliot LaGuardia and Alex Grun, 6-2, 6-2, in the semifinals. LaGuardia and Grun ultimately finished third.

Kevin Cino, seeded sixth in the singles draw, started off with a 6-1, 6-1 win over Mike Shade of Southold, before beating Christian Oakley of Southampton, also in a 6-1, 6-1 match. Cino was eliminated after that by Ross’s Menke in a 6-2, 7-6 (7-3) battle. Menke was seeded third and finished third. Beecher Halsey was ousted in the first round after a 6-4, 6-2 loss to fourth-seed Garrett Malave of Mattituck.

In other doubles action for Westhampton Beach, Luke Jurow and Matt Higgins started off with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Drew Sacher and C.J. Cooke of Southold before beating Doug DeMaio and Jordan Block of Shoreham/Wading River, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3. They were knocked out by top seeded Okin and Rowen of Ross, 6-0, 6-3. Ghayalod and Smith upset fifth-seeded Connor Gargen and Kevin Kucharczyk in the first round, 6-2, 6-2, before losing 6-1, 6-2 to Nick West and Tom Stridiron of Shoreham in the next round.

Southampton

Mariner seniors Elliot LaGuardia and Alex Grun earned All-County status and a spot in the upcoming Suffolk County Individual Tournament by finishing third in the Division IV doubles draw on Monday with a 7-5, 7-6 (7-3) win over Nick West and Tom Stridiron of Shoreham/Wading River in the consolation final. It’s the first time the doubles pair has earned All-County honors. LaGuardia was a student at St. Anthony’s for the past three seasons before returning to Southampton, and Grun earned only All-Conference honors playing doubles with a different partner last season. LaGuardia and Grun were the more talented team on Monday, taking a 5-2 lead in the first set and a 5-3 lead in the second, but the Shoreham duo fought back to make it interesting in both sets.

“They did what they had to do to win,” Southampton head coach Richard “Juni” Wingfield said of Grun and LaGuardia. “Not taking anything away from Shoreham, but I felt like they played at the level of their competition.”

LaGuardia and Grun, seeded sixth, started the tournament with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Tristan Delfox and Max Myslinski of Rocky Point before beating Harrison Kennedy and Zach Bogetti of East Hampton, 6-1, 6-0. They got past Dave Barlow and John Cruz, the third seeds, from Longwood in a 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 match to get to the semifinals, where they lost 6-2, 6-2 to Zach Ellenhorn and Brian Schwartz of Westhampton Beach.

West and Stridiron made it to the semifinals after the Southampton doubles team of Ben Pereira and Connor Kiembock was forced to forfeit their quarterfinal match against them on Saturday. Pereira, a serious violin student, had a scheduling conflict on Saturday morning and was not able to play, thus giving the win to the Shoreham pair. Pereira and Kiembock, who were unseeded, beat Jurgielwicz and Dahlem of ESM, 1-6, 6-0, 6-3, in the first round before knocking off fourth-seeded Nicki Neubert and Brady Yusko of East Hampton, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 in the second round to reach the quarters.

In the singles draw, freshman Christian Oakley had a nice showing in his first time at the division tournament, beating Brad Maslack of Longwood 6-4, 6-3 in the first round before losing to sixth seed Kevin Cino of Westhampton Beach, 6-1, 6-1. Mariner Dylan Blue lost in the first round to fifth seed Julian MacGurn of East Hampton, falling 6-2, 6-1.

As a team, Southampton finished with a 3-9 record in League VII, 4-11 overall, wrapping up the regular season with a 6-1 loss at second-place Ross on April 28 before falling 5-2 at home against East Hampton (2-10, 3-10) at home on May 1. East Hampton

Singles player Julian MacGurn was East Hampton’s lone representative on the final day of the Division IV tournament, earning All-County honors by taking fourth after losing 6-3, 6-4 to Jan Menke of Ross. MacGurn, seeded fifth, had a good run however, beating Garret Malave of Mattituck 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) to reach the semifinals and thus earn a spot in the county tournament. MacGurn had lost twice to Malave during the regular season. Before beating Malave, MacGurn started the tournament with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Southampton’s Dylan Blue, then beat Brandon Jiang of Floyd, 6-2, 6-1, to meet up with Malave. MacGurn lost 6-2, 6-1 to Cooper Lacetera of Westhampton Beach in the semis.

Ravi MacGurn was East Hampton’s only other singles player, and he lost 6-1, 6-0 to Jonas Feurring of Ross in the first round.

East Hampton had three teams in the doubles draw. Brady Yusko and Nicki Neubert, seeded fourth, started off with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 win over Maddison Hummel and Jack Boyland of Ross in the first round before getting upset by Connor Kiembock and Ben Pereira of Southampton, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1, in the second round. Kyle Fallon and Matt McMullan lost 6-0, 6-2 to Dave Barlow and John Cruz of Longwood in the first round, while Harrison Kennedy and Zach Bogetti won their first round match against Southold’s Will Richter and Kenji Fujita, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4, before losing 6-1, 6-0 to Southampton’s Alex Grun and Elliot LaGuardia, who ended up taking third.

East Hampton finished last in League VII with a 2-10 record, 3-10 overall, but saw improvement as the season went on.

Fallon and McMullan got East Hampton’s only point in a 6-1 loss to second-place Ross on April 29, beating Alex Kang and Nico Osch7-5, 6-4, at second doubles. In a 5-2 win at Southampton on May 1 that wrapped up the regular season, Julian MacGurn beat Christian Oakley 6-2, 6-0, at first singles; Ravi MacGurn beat Will Reddick 6-3, 6-2, at second singles; and Ben Karlin beat Tristan Hughes 6-0, 6-0, at fourth singles. The Bonac first doubles team of Yusko and Neubert beat Grun and LaGuardia, 7-5, 7-5, and the third doubles team of Kennedy and Bogetti beat Christian Oliveros and Eryk Kropiwnicka, 6-0, 6-4, at third doubles.

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