Coach’s protest leads to flip-flop in seeding
By Andrew Rudansky
After an official hearing regarding rules violations by the Westhampton Hurricanes, Section XI has determined that a match between Ross and Westhampton on April 28 will be retroactively forfeited in Ross’ favor due to an illegal lineup violation by Westhampton.
The original results of the April match was a close 4-3 decision in favor of the Hurricanes, however the hearing, held on Tuesday, May 8, awarded the win to Ross, giving them a record of 10-1 for the season.
With that tenth win, Ross takes the best record in League VII away from Westhampton, which in turn gives them their third straight league title in a row. This decision also gives Ross improved seeding for next week Section XI playoffs.
Vinicius Carmo, head coach of the Ross varsity team, first filed the complaint against Westhampton after he saw irregularities in Westhampton’s lineup.
“There were some funny things there, there were players that were not in the right spots,” said Carmo.
The NYPHSAA handbook specifically states, “to equalize competition…no overmatching of teams or individuals shall be permitted.”
To facilitate this, inter-team challenger matches are held to see which players occupy which spot in the hierarchical tennis team.
“He was trying to move his lineup so he could beat us,” said Carmo. “It was still a close match, but I think he changed everything, I think it changed the outcome of the match.”
Section XI agreed with Carmo and took the win and handed it to Ross, bumping Westhampton from their first place perch into second place. Westhampton, now officially 10-2 this season will also take part in the section XI playoffs, but without their advantageous first seed placing.
Westhampton’s Athletic Director Kathy Masterson refused to comment to the hearing or the match in question. Representatives from Section XI similarly did not comment on the hearing.
With the loss to Westhampton scrubbed from the record books, Ross’ only loss in the past three years came at the hands of the Southampton Mariners on April 2 of this year in a close 4-3 match.
“I would prefer that we could play the match and have the win on the court, but we felt that what they did wasn’t right,” said Carmo. “I think the team feels like they are the champions.”
Regardless of how they ended up with the title, it will be Ross, and not the rival Westhampton Hurricanes who will be adding another banner to their school gymnasium.
In addition to coming out on top in League VII, Ross received more good news when several members of the varsity squad placed in a Suffolk County individuals tournament in Smithtown.
Top varsity singles player Felipe Reis made it to the final round of the tournament before falling to the eventual champion Jeremy Dubin from Southampton (6/3, 6/0).
Doubles partners Jack Brinkley-Cook and Louis Caiola made to the semi-finals in the tournament, while doubles partners Mikey Petersen and Jordan Schiwmmer also made it to the semi-finals. All five Ross players were named to the All-County team.
Ross doubles team of Harrison Rowen and Pedro Zagury was also named into the All-League team after making it into the quarter finals round.
“I think that at the beginning of the season I had a feeling they were going to do well, but I didn’t think they would get this far,” said Carmo about the varsity team.
The Cosmos’ final match of the season was away at Eastport/South Manor (2-8) played on Wednesday, May 9. However the results of that game were still not known when this paper was put to bed. Regardless of the result of this final match, Ross will remain in the first seed.
The Ross varsity team starts its run in the Section XI varsity team tournament on Tuesday, May 15.
“This year is going to be harder than the last two years. The other leagues have good teams too,” said Carmo.