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Oct 22, 2019 3:18 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Rose Hayes Wins Girls Tennis County Singles Title Once Again; Is One Of Three Lady 'Canes To Qualify For States

Rose Hayes DREW BUDD
Oct 23, 2019 10:08 AM

Westhampton Beach sophomore Rose Hayes could probably play any sport she wanted to and excel at it, she’s that talented as an athlete. Years ago, at a young age, she chose tennis as her main event, and it’s no surprise to anyone that she’s become the top player in all of Suffolk County.

Hayes blew through all of the competition in the Section XI, or Suffolk County, Individual Championships, including a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Commack’s Kady Tannenbaum in the finals on Monday, to win her second consecutive county singles title. She only lost three games the entire tournament leading to her convincing victory and clinched a spot in the New York State Championships, which is November 2-4 in upstate Latham, for the third time in her young career.

She’ll be joined at states by her Lady Hurricane teammates in seniors Rose Peruso and Jen Curran, who placed fourth in the county.

“It feels pretty nice, and a relief to win again,” Hayes said. “I think having experience in tournament [play] helps, but I still don’t play as many hours a week as my competitors.”

Hayes said she plays six hours a week and about two to three tournaments a month. It’s a lot to the layman, but not so when many of her competitors put in over 12 hours a week, she said.

So what makes her different? Hayes offered up a simple answer: “I think playing smart and appreciating the time you have on the court makes the difference,” she said.

Westhampton Beach head coach John Czartosieski, who has never had a back-to-back singles champion before Hayes, said that when Commack’s Emily Tannenbaum, who Hayes defeated in three sets to win last year’s county final, decided not to play high school tennis this season, he knew it was Hayes’s to lose.

“That left the door wide open for Rose,” he said. “Rose was pretty much on autopilot for the entire tournament.”

Peruso and Curran lost their semifinal match, 6-3, 6-3, to Islip’s top doubles pair, Maddie Germano and Darienne Rogers, then fell to Alexis Huber and Skylar Semon, 6-1, 6-0, in the consolation finals.

“I think they played better in the first match of the day in the semis,” Czartosieski said. “They lost, but they played better. In the consolation they played a little deflated.”

Katelyn Stabile, who placed second in the Division IV singles tournament, also competed in the singles draw with Hayes. She won her first round match in straight sets over Ward Melville's Rachel Zhang but then lost her second round match, 6-2, 6-2, to Walt Whitman's Isabella Dinulescu. Helena Jones and Rieve Delisle competed in the doubles draw with Peruso and Curran. They won a tight first round match, 7-5, 6-4, over Sayville's Jenna Guerna and Meredith Albertelli but then lost, 6-1, 6-2, to the Hills East pair Huber and Semon.

Hayes, Peruso and Curran will be looking to do something at states now. Hayes lost in the quarterfinals of last year’s state tournament, and she said her goal will be to, at the very least, reach the quarters once again. Czartosieski said that if Hayes can finish in the top four of the state it would be a huge accomplishment, noting that the format at the state level has changed, where it’s just a complete single elimination tournament, with no back draws and no consolation matches.

“You have to pull the trigger from the first point, and be aggressive from the first point through the entire match,” he said.

Defending county and Long Island champion Westhampton Beach was seeded as the top team in the Section XI Team Tournament, which began with first round play on Monday. The Lady ’Canes received a bye and were expected to play the winner of No. 16 Hills West and No. 17 Mount Sinai on Wednesday.

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