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Bonac Boys Tennis Bid Denied

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 22:20
A 5-2 loss at Harborfields for the senior-heavy team
Jaedon Glasstein and Alex Weseley, Bonac's number-one doubles tandem, will be graduating next month.

A 5-2 loss last Thursday at Harborfields put East Hampton High School’s boys tennis team, the best one here since the Rubenstein brothers, Matt and Brian, played one and two in 2003 and ’04, out of the county tournament in the quarterfinal round.

Kevin McConville and his players, most of whom he’s coached since they were seventh graders, were somewhat disappointed with the result, though the Tornadoes’ battle-tested singles players proved to be as advertised, besting their Bonac counterparts in straight sets. 

East Hampton, the tourney’s fifth seed, won at first and third doubles, and lost 8-5 in an eight-game pro set at second doubles, a match that was rendered moot given Bobby Bellino’s 7-5, 6-1 win over Max Astilean at fourth singles, which earned fourth-seeded Harborfields the decisive fourth point.

“Their one” — Alex Rzehak, who won the county singles title Saturday, defeating Michael Koscinski of Center Moriches — “two, and four are very experienced players,” McConville said during a conversation Friday at the Hampton Racquet Club, where he is the head pro. 

“Jonny [De Groot, East Hampton’s number-one] probably played his best tennis of the season in his match, better than when he beat Josh [Kaplan, Westhampton Beach’s number-one], but Rzehak has played a lot of junior U.S.T.A. tournaments, which Jonny hasn’t. He’s played in pressure situations a lot, way more than Jonny has. He’s really accomplished and makes few mistakes.”

“Max played by far his best match,” McConville continued. “He was up 5-4 in the first set with two set points, but at 40-30 he missed an easy putaway and went on to lose 7-5. Max is an eighth grader and the kid he played was a senior who had beaten Ravi [MacGurn] in three sets in the first round of the county individual tournament.”

As for MacGurn, McConville, who had scouted the Tornadoes’ singles players, said, “We thought he had a really good chance,” but it was not to be as the Harborfields number-two, Mike Singer, won 6-3, 6-1. Luke Louchheim, a freshman who has “been hot for the whole end of the year,” lost 6-3, 6-0 to a fellow freshman, Chris Qi, at three. 

The Bonackers won “very easily” at first and third doubles, Jaedon Glasstein and Alex Weseley at one defeating Billy Waring and Simon Kaplan 6-1, 6-3, and Matthew McGovern and Miles Clark defeating Marshall Singer and Jonah Hutt 6-3, 6-2 at three.

Brad Drubych, because of tests, arrived late, after the home team had notched its fourth point, “so we decided to play an eight-game pro set,” said McConville. “Brad and Jamie [Fairchild] didn’t play all that great . . . I trust they would have played better if it had been the deciding match.”

Glasstein and Weseley, by the way, atoned for a first-round county individual tournament loss to Miller Place’s Landon Agic and Matt Molinaro by defeating them 6-1, 6-3 here in a first-round county team tournament match, which East Hampton won 7-0, on May 15.

Molinaro and Agic pulled to 4-3 in the second set, but, at 3-all in the eighth game, a shot of Agic’s went long, putting East Hampton’s team up 5-3, and Weseley served it out at 4-0, with a powerful overhead by Glasstein capping the victory.

The way Glasstein and Weseley played that day it was hard to imagine that they had lost to the Panther duo 7-5, 6-3 a few days before. That first-round loss had hurt. Otherwise, said McConville, “Jaedon and Alex would have had a good chance of making all-state.”  

As for East Hampton’s team, which went through league play undefeated — the fifth straight year that East Hampton has either won the league title outright or shared it with Westhampton Beach — “We met our expectations, but we didn’t exceed them,” said McConville. “We won when we were supposed to, but didn’t upset anybody,” despite East Hampton’s great depth at singles and doubles.

The county team tournament’s seeding had not turned out the way he had hoped, the coach went on. “We thought Harborfields should have been the three seed, that we should have been the fourth, and Bay Shore five. Instead, they gave Bay Shore the three seed, which pushed us out of a home quarterfinal with Bay Shore, which, although it was undefeated in its league, only had one win outside of its division, a 4-3 win over Ward Melville. . . . Tennis coaches don’t go to these seeding meetings, the A.D.s do, and they just go by the numbers.”

So, with six seniors about to graduate (De Groot, MacGurn, Glasstein, Weseley, Fairchild, and Drubych) and with Louchheim transferring to Hotchkiss (where his brother, Jack, plays number-two), and with Astilean next year’s likely number-one, was it back to square one, McConville was asked.

Not really, he replied. “The future is bright. There are a real good crop of younger players here, in the middle schools and especially in the fifth and sixth grades. The number-one on East Hampton’s middle school team, Nick Cooper, a seventh grader who’s at the same level as Max, would have made the varsity, but it’s not allowed. A seventh grader must play middle school tennis even if he’s good enough to go up. That’s the rule here, though all those good teams had a seventh grader on them. Hills West’s number-two was a seventh grader. The two kids who played number-one doubles for Commack were seventh graders. . . . But, anyway, as I said, the future is bright.”