By Gavin Menu
The streak of perfection dates back three seasons now. The East Hampton/Pierson/Bridgehampton boys tennis team has won 28 straight matches in league play, dating back to the 2015 season when Katie Helfand took over the reins of the program.
This year’s team is continuing the tradition of winning with an unlikely cast of characters that includes six sophomores, a freshman at first singles and just one junior and one senior playing together at third doubles. And there’s a Pierson seventh grader in there for good measure.
The team’s latest victim was William Floyd, a traditionally competitive program the Bonackers dispensed with on Monday by a score of 7-0. The team’s biggest win of the season so far was a 4-3 triumph on March 21 over Westhampton Beach, which will host East Hampton on Thursday, April 6, at 4:30 p.m.
“I knew and John knew we would be each other’s toughest competition this year,” Helfand said, referencing Westhampton coach John Czartosieski. “ We beat them 4-3 at the end of last season, and then 4-3 a couple weeks ago. I think that we both know it can go either way. My guys have a league title to defend, so that will hopefully motivate them to pull this one out.”
Pierson freshman Jack Louchheim has moved to the top singles spot this season, and cruised on Monday with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Floyd’s Chris Robertson. Bridgehampton sophomore Jonny DeGroot won his match at third singles to remain perfect for the season, and Luke Louchheim, Jack’s younger brother who is only in seventh grade, won his fifth straight match after moving up to the varsity level.
“Jack is doing well, he should be in top four of league, playing a lot of the players he played last year at number-two singles,” Helfand said. “He’s a fighter and wants to do well. Luke didn’t play JV last year and came right on to varsity. He comes with great technical skills, a positive attitude and a lot of match experience.”
Pierson’s Alex Weseley, a sophomore, is playing first doubles this season alongside Jaedon Glasstein and Bradley Drubych, another sophomore from Pierson, is playing second doubles with James Fairchild, a sophomore from Bridgehampton. The two top doubles teams beat their counterparts from Westhampton earlier this year, and will be key once again when they meet on Thursday.
Jack Louchheim lost his only match of the season against Westhampton, falling 3-6, 1-6, to Danny Tucco, so he will be looking to reverse that result on Thursday.
Following the match with Westhampton, the Bonackers will have 12 days off for spring break and will resume league play at home against Shoreham Wading River on April 18 at 4:30 p.m.