This could be the year.
With the bulk of its roster back from a team that reached the semifinals of the Suffolk County team tournament last year, the East Hampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton boys tennis team is poised for big things. And the Bonackers have already served notice with a pair of early-season wins against some of the best competition in Suffolk County.
East Hampton edged Half Hollow Hills West, 4-3, in its season opener on March 15 and crushed longtime rival Westhampton, 7-0, at home on Tuesday. Pierson freshman Luke Louchheim won both his matches at third singles, while Bridgehampton senior Jonny DeGroot followed a tough loss in a third-set tiebreaker against Bilal Rashizada of Hills West with a win in the top singles spot on Tuesday. DeGroot has the most diverse selection of shots on the team and has solidified himself in the top singles spot, according to East Hampton coach Kevin McConville.
“He’s a great player to coach,” said McConville, a club professional who is in his second season leading the program. “He hasn’t lost a single challenge.”
East Hampton senior Ravi MacGurn and eighth-grader Max Astilian round out the top four singles spots, and both have swept their matches, so far, this year.
The Bonackers are the top-ranked team from Leagues VII and VIII and McConville believes the team has a shot this year at the overall county title, which Commack won last year. The Bonackers will face Commack on April 5 in a non-league match, and will also play Half Hollow Hills East, last season’s county runner-up, on March 22. Both matches will be played at home.
“I know the coach at Commack and we definitely wanted to play,” McConville said on Tuesday. “A lot of these teams — Hills West and East and Commack — have a wealth of good players. Just like us.”
Pierson senior Alex Weseley normally plays number-one doubles, but he has missed the first two matches with other commitments, according to McConville. Bridgehampton senior Jamie Fairchild has played the first two matches at first doubles with East Hampton’s Jaedon Glasstein, while Pierson senior Brad Drubych, Bridgehampton sophomore Matthew McGovern, Pierson sophomore Jackson LaRose and East Hampton senior John Jimenez round out the Bonackers’ roster.
Friday’s match against Half Hollow Hills East begins at 4 p.m.