East Hampton’s No. 1 doubles team lit up the court and ignited the home crowd Thursday.
Olivia Barris and Chiara Bedini took the longest match of the evening, 6-2, 6-2, to help the Bonackers sweep Southampton 7-0 Thursday, September 20. “They had a great match, excellent poaching,” head coach Kevin McConville said. “I put them together because one of them is a really good ground stroker and the other one is a good volleyer, and they’re both getting better at that other part, which is what I’m real happy with.”
Southampton head coach Juni Wingfield moved two of his top singles players to face the East Hampton duo. He said while his team has struggled moving from League VIII to League VII, especially after losing six seniors, he thinks his girls rose to the occasion. The team was also without No. 1 singles player Charlotte Ferguson.
“I’m very pleased with the way they’ve been performing and the way they’ve focused on not getting upset about the winning and losing, because you see too much of that,” he said. “I tell them I want them to go out there and forget about competition and rely on personal excellence — try to do something a little bit better every day.”
The coach pointed to No. 4 singles player Olympia Campbell (2-6, 0-6) and the No. 3 doubles team of Sarah Eckert and Virmarsha Sital (1-6, 0-6) as big proponents of that.
“These are kids who you wouldn’t believe are the same ones if you saw them in the beginning of the season,” Wingfield said. “They’ve improved tremendously.”
McConville also likes seeing the transformation of his No. 2 singles player Juliana Barahona, who moved to East Hampton from Colombia just two months ago. She bested her Southampton opponent Alexa Pariz 6-1, 6-2.
“She doesn’t speak a lot of English, but she’s finally getting comfortable and playing great,” the coach said. “She almost beat Westhampton Beach on Monday, so she’s been a good and a welcomed surprise.”
East Hampton has its sights set on dethroning Westhampton, the top tennis team in the league. After a 6-1 loss to the Hurricanes September 17, the Bonackers may have bounced back to improve to 7-1, but are looking to build up to hopefully besting Westhampton on the road in the final game of the regular season October 2.
“I’m especially excited about the development about the doubles teams — they’re getting better and better,” McConville said, adding that historically his team has won matches with strong singles and losses in doubles matches. “We always have solid singles, but we’re trying really hard and I think we’ve seen a lot of improvement in the doubles teams. We’re trying to get better every match so we can have a chance to share the league title.”
Westhampton last beat William Floyd 7-0 September 20. Onalee Batcheller and Brooke DelPrete defeated Hailey Loughlin and Alyssa Deeli in first doubles (6-4, 7-6, 8-6) to lead the team. Mattituck, which is also undefeated, edged Southold/Greenport 4-3 September 22 to remain on top in League VIII. Riverhead is one win behind after Ryan Waski defeated Brianna Hemmings, 6-3, 6-1, at first singles during a shutout of Hampton Bays September 20. Each of the teams had matches September 24, but results were not available by press time.