Pierson freshman Isabel Peters played first singles against Ross on Friday. Gavin Menu photo
By Gavin Menu
The East Hampton-Pierson girls tennis team dropped two matches over the last week to fall out of contention for the League VII title.
Going into a match at the Ross School on Friday, the Lady Bonackers were 5-1 in league play and hot on the heels of first-place William Floyd, which they faced on Monday. The Lady Bonackers lost both matches and dropped to 5-3 with just two matches remaining in the regular season.
Floyd, which scored a 6-1 win over the Lady Bonackers on Monday, is a perfect 9-0 in league play and 16-0 overall. Ross, which on Friday narrowly edged East Hampton, 4-3, was in second place as of Tuesday with a record of 6-3.
Pierson freshman Isabel Peters has been playing in one of the top two singles spots all season, after being on the Pierson junior varsity team last fall. Speaking before the Ross match on Friday, she said her improvement came from an intense summer of work and practice at East Hampton Indoor Tennis. The results have been undeniable, as she has posted a 7-3 record during her first varsity season.
“I mostly worked on my strategy,” Peters said. “And my groundstrokes and my serve as well.”
Peters said she enjoys playing for the East Hampton team, even though she misses wearing the Whalers red and black at times.
“It’s fun meeting new kids, you start new friendships,” said Peters, who is joined on the team by fellow Pierson students Cecilia Combemale, Evan Johnson, Lily Kot and Sabrina Re. “I definitely miss playing for my school though.”
Against Ross, East Hampton won all three doubles matches but failed to win a point in the singles draw. Playing at first singles, Peters lost, 6-1, 6-3, to Abigail Okin, who played for East Hampton last year. Combemale lost, 6-2, 7-6 (7-3), to Kendall Scala at third singles while Kot lost to Amanda Mintz, 6-2, 6-4, at fourth singles.
The Lady Bonackers had beaten Ross in their first meeting this year, 6-1, although Ross was without Okin at the time.
“They had a very strong singles lineup, and we just couldn’t pull it off,” East Hampton coach Michelle Kennedy said. “Last match, some of the stronger players were at doubles where we were able to bring in wins.”
Dannie Dunphy and Gillian Neubert, playing at first doubles, picked up the lone win for East Hampton against Floyd. Peters lost 6-4, 6-3 at second singles while Combemale and Kot lost a three set match, 6-0, 3-6, 6-1, at second doubles.
Kennedy called Floyd one of the best teams in Suffolk County, and said they are a relatively young team. “They have really become a good team over the past few years,” she said. “I know the girls put in a lot of work off season, which definitely helps.”
The Lady Bonackers faced Eastport-South Manor yesterday, October 9, and will close out the regular season today at home against Westhampton Beach at 4 p.m.
The individual Division IV Tournament will begin on Saturday at William Floyd High School, and Kennedy is expecting eight to 10 girls from her team to compete. The top four singles players and top four doubles teams will advance to the Suffolk County Tournament, which begins October 19 at Smithtown East. The Suffolk County team tournament will be played simultaneously and will begin on Friday, October 18.