In what was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the East Hampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton girls tennis team this season, it ended up matching, for the most part, what previous year’s teams have been able to accomplish.
The Lady Bonackers reached the Round of 16 in the Section XI, or Suffolk County, Team Tournament last week. Seeded 12th going into the tournament, East Hampton defeated No. 21 Longwood, 4-3, at home on October 22, before losing at No. 5 Bayport/Blue Point, 4-3, the following day.
East Hampton head coach Kevin McConville said last week that he thought his team had a good shot at beating Longwood and Bayport and making some noise by upsetting Half Hollow Hills East had they reached the quarterfinals. But his team came up just short.
“I really thought we had a really good chance to win at Bayport. I knew my doubles teams would win, which they did, and then I thought we had a good chance to win at two and four [singles],” McConville explained. “Both girls were up, 5-3, in those matches before losing.”
Eve Iuolo and Romy Lauer played at second and fourth singles for East Hampton and lost, 6-4, 6-1, and, 7-5, 6-1, respectively. Juliana Barahona was East Hampton’s only singles player to grab a win, defeating Aislin Riccardelli, 6-1, 6-2, at the top singles spot. Kaylee Mendelman and Chiara Bedini won their first doubles match, 6-2, 4-6, 11-9, over Ella Romano and Jordan Miloy, and Eva Wojtusiak and Catherine LeFevre won their second doubles match, 6-4, 6-3, over Riley Duerr and Grace Blanchard.
“I couldn’t be happier with their progress, especially the doubles teams,” McConville said. “Like I said, I loved our draw. I think we could have beaten Bayport and Hills East, and I thought we had a great opportunity to really do something, but [Bayport] played better than us.”
With the season officially over, East Hampton will turn its attention to next year’s team. Only losing two seniors in Mendelman and Ashley Peters, and a strong crop of incoming young players next season, the Lady Bonackers should have another strong lineup to contend with in League VII. McConville said his team was already picked to finish third in the league next year at the last coach’s meeting and he’ll be looking to, at the very least, match that.
“We desperately need some singles players and I think we’re going to get some coming up,” he said. “I thought Romy Lauer came a long way for us this year. She learned a lot and improved throughout this year. Lily Somers and Riley Roesel really came on strong for us and they’ll be coming back so I’ll have most of my doubles players returning, which is huge because I won’t have to spend all the time teaching them doubles. I’m very much looking forward to being a strong team next year.”