Golf, Tennis Finished Strong

The League VIII tournament was played at the long, hilly Rock Hill public course in Manorville
Danny Dunphy and Gillian Neubert were the conference doubles champions. Jack Graves Photos

    The East Hampton High School golf team last week won the League VIII tournament, which was played at the long, hilly Rock Hill public course in Manorville, and the girls tennis team finished its season as a semifinalist in the county team tournament.

    “It was nice to tie Southampton for the league championship and to beat them in the league tournament on a neutral course,” said East Hampton’s golf coach, Claude Beudert, who recalled that the last time he’d played Rock Hill “was 45 years ago when I was a student at Cold Spring Harbor. . . . I shot a 79 or 81.”

    Par at Rock Hill is 72, “though besides being long and hilly, it was windy the day we played, which made it a good test,” said Beudert.

    The top 20 qualified to play as individuals in the county tournament next May. All six of East Hampton’s golfers — Matt Griffiths, Turner Foster, Stephen Kane, Regis O’Neill, Jack Bistrian, and Josue Palacios — did. Four from Pierson — Jack Borie, Ben Kushner, Jack Brown, and Garret Potter — did as well. Southampton qualified two.

    Griffiths led the Bonackers with an 86, which tied him for second on the day, after which came Kane (89), O’Neill (90), Foster (93), Bistrian (94), and Palacios (96). “The course was a little too long for Turner, though he’ll grow into it,” said Beudert.

    East Hampton’s stroke total was 452. South­ampton’s was 469, Pierson’s 470, Center Moriches’s 472, and Westhampton Beach’s 508. Rock Hill is Center Moriches’s home course.

    Beudert said his team’s goal in the spring is to top Leagues VII and VIII in the county tourney, which is played at Indian Island in Riverhead.

    As for the tennis team, it bageled Smithtown West 5-0 in a first-round county team tournament match played here. It probably would have been 7-0 had not rain fallen near the match’s end, making East Hampton’s hardcourts slippery.

    That win resulted in a showdown with the Ross School, with which East Hampton had split wins in the regular season.

    “It was close,” said East Hampton’s coach, Michelle Kennedy. “While the final score was 5-2 in our favor, several matches split sets.”

    East Hampton’s number-one, Carly Grossman, prevailed over her former teammate, Abby Okin, winning the first set, losing the second, and winning the third in a tiebreaker, 7-4.

    Grossman was the steadier of the two, though Okin, the harder hitter, had her moments. After dropping the first set to Grossman 6-3, largely as the result of unforced errors, Okin frequently took the air out of the ball in the second, following deep drives with drop shots, a strategy that forced Grossman out of her comfort zone and got Okin back into the match.

    Okin fell behind 6-1 in the third set tiebreaker before fighting back with winners to 6-4. That was as close as she came.

    In the other singles matches, Isabel Peters, East Hampton’s number-two, lost in a battle of backboarders in three sets to Ross’s Rory Gallaher; East Hampton’s Maddie Aldrich, paired with Kendall Scala, won in a three-setter at three, and Maggie Pizzo, at four, won in straight sets (though she trailed 0-3 in the second before coming back) over Ross’s Amanda Mintz.

    In doubles, East Hampton’s all-county duo, Danny Dunphy and Gillian Neubert, defeated Ross’s Constance Caiola and Zoe Yektai in straight sets, and, likewise, Lily Kot and Cece Combemale (a former Ross student) defeated Hannah Dayton and Sofia Liotti. Ross’s Daysi Gallaher and Livia Azevedo defeated East Hampton’s third team, Julia Talasko and Cosima Schelfhout, in three sets.

    Dunphy and Neubert were the conference doubles champions, but fell in the second (quarterfinal) round to a Half Hollow Hills West team in the county tourney, thus failing to qualify — as they did last year by virtue of their being county finalists — for the state tourney.

    As aforesaid, Hills East, the county team tournament’s top seed, defeated East Hampton in the semifinal round, by a score of 7-0. “They just outplayed us,” Kennedy said afterward. “Second doubles split sets before losing in the third, and Isabel lost 7-5, 7-5 to an all-state player.”

    As for the season, Kennedy said, “This was a great season, for many reasons. First, I was lucky to have such a great group of girls who all got along and were very supportive of one another. We all had fun, and did great in our matches. Our league is one of the two strongest in the county, so finishing as the runner-up to William Floyd was quite an accomplishment. Defeating Ross and finishing in the county’s top four was a great feeling. The girls were excited to have done so well, and I’m very proud of them.”

    Pierson students — Peters, Kot, Combemale, Evan Johnson, and Sabrine Re — considerably strengthened East Hampton’s lineup this fall. “It’s not definite yet that we’ll be combined with Pierson next year,” the coach said. “They may field their own team.”

    East Hampton’s seniors are Grossman, Pizzo, Talasko, Schelfhout, Dunphy, Neubert, and Melanie Schwagerl.

Carly Grossman outlasted her former teammate, Abby Okin, in a second-round county team tournament match here with the Ross School last week.