For the fourth year in a row, the Ross School has won a league boys tennis championship, though, as Richard Wingfield, Southampton’s coach, said before a match in the private school’s “bubble” Monday, referring to Ross’s Tennis Academy, whose students are prohibited from high school competition, “We’re really facing Ross’s jayvee.”
The Cosmos, whose sole league loss as of Monday had come at the hands of William Floyd in its league opener, went into the match with the Mariners at 10-1 in league play and 10-2 over all.
Juan Diaz, who began coaching the team this year given the fact that its former coach, Vinicius Carmo, is now occupied full time with the academy’s students, said it had been “sweet revenge” to have defeated Floyd 6-1 in their second meeting of the spring — a win, he said, that showed how much his players had improved.
The League VII championship was clinched, he said, with Ross’s 4-3 win over archrival Westhampton Beach this past week, a match that Ross pulled out with comeback wins at first doubles and third singles.
Louis Caiola, whose former partner, Mikey Peterson, was recently sidelined by a broken ankle, played that day at first doubles with Harrison Rowen. After losing the first set 6-3 to Westhampton’s Brian Schwartz and Zach Ellenhorn, they went on to win 6-3, 6-4. Ditto Jack Brinkley at third singles, who defeated the Hurricanes’ Beecher Halsey 2-6, 6-4, 6-0.
The other winners for Ross — which defeated Westhampton 4-3 the first time around as well — were Jonas Feurring at fourth singles, by a score of 6-0, 6-0, and the third doubles team of Maddison Hummel and Will Cassou, who defeated Riley Smith and Raj Ghayaiod 6-4, 7-6.
Diaz said he was hoping for a top-four seed in the coming county team tournament, and predicted that in the county individual tournament his doubles teams might fare better than his singles players. The divisional tournament is to be played tomorrow, Saturday, and Monday at William Floyd High School.
While Ross won the league, East Hampton, whose record was 6-4 as of Tuesday with two regular-season matches left to play, had a chance for third, behind Ross and Westhampton, its coach, Michelle Kennedy, said in an e-mail.
“As of now,” she said, “we could be tied with William Floyd given the fact we beat them the last time out and have the same record. With two matches left, nothing’s set in stone.”
Ross was to have played here yesterday, and Kennedy, whose team lost 4-3 over there recently — a match that led to her filing a protest that Section XI, the governing body of Suffolk high school sports, did not uphold — was looking for another close encounter.
Kennedy, as is also the case with Diaz, is “hoping to get as many kids as possible into the divisional tournament. The seeding meeting is Thursday night.” That tourney’s top four in singles and in doubles are to advance to the county tournament, which is to begin at Smithtown East High School on May 11. First-round matches in the county team tournament are to be played May 15.
In recent matches, East Hampton lost 5-2 to Westhampton and defeated winless Southampton 6-1. Bonac’s winners in the match with the Hurricanes were Andrew Davis, at third singles, and Nicki Neubert, at fourth singles. Brady Yusko and Juan Agudelo played a three-setter at third doubles, losing in a deciding tiebreaker after splitting the first two sets.
“We’re chugging along,” Wingfield said, with equanimity, of Southampton before Monday’s match at Ross began. Asked about his former two-time all-state player, Jeremy Dubin, Wingfield brightened. “Jeremy graduated early and spent this past year in Spain, in Barcelona. He’s going to Johns Hopkins [a Division 1 program], where he’ll play tennis and learn how to be a doctor. . . . It wasn’t all natural ability with him — he was smart and worked hard, and then growing to 6-feet-5 helped.”