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Nov 10, 2019 5:07 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Westhampton Beach Girls Tennis Falls To Port Washington In Long Island Championship

Seniors Rose Peruso and Jen Curran share a hug after their team's loss in the Long Island Championship on November 6. DREW BUDD
Nov 12, 2019 1:39 PM

Many were skeptical that the Westhampton Beach girls tennis team would make it back to the Long Island Championship after becoming the first team in Suffolk County history to win it last year. The Lady Hurricanes graduated five players from their historic team from a year ago, and even their head coach was unsure if his team could repeat as Suffolk County champions and make a return trip to the LIC.

Sure enough, this year’s crop of Lady ’Canes proved they could, at the very least, make a return trip, but they had a tall task in front of them, trying to defeat what was an undefeated team in Nassau County Champion Port Washington at Hamlet Golf and Country Club in Commack on November 6. The Lady Vikings proved they were the better team, sweeping the Lady ’Canes, 7-0, en route to winning their 50th match in their past 51 tries, and with it a Long Island title.

The match was pushed back eight days due to multiple days of inclement weather and then the New York State Individual Championships, which were played the weekend prior to the LIC. Westhampton Beach head coach John Czartosieski said the eight-day layoff may have cost his team a set point here and there, but he gave Port Washington its due.

“We didn’t lose — we got beat by a better team,” he said. “They deserved it.”

“A lot of skeptics had us not even in the running for this, including myself,” Czartosieski admitted after the match, with a laugh. “I lost five really good starters — that’s half of my team. I mentioned this before, the girls got hungry. The ones that didn’t play a lot last year were playing a lot this year. They wanted to make a name for themselves and they did, they brought us all the way back here to the LIC. That was just a tremendous accomplishment in and of itself.”

Port Washington wrapped up all three doubles matches early on, to take a 3-0 lead, then Andrea Martinez clinched the victory with her 6-3, 6-1 win over Katelyn Stabile at second singles to seal the victory. Meanwhile, Rose Hayes and Thea Rabman were continuing their first singles match, as was Rose Peruso at third singles, and Julia Stabile had just started her fourth singles match — the club had only six usable Har-Tru courts so fourth singles was delayed until a court became available. While some of the sets were close, all matches were decided in two sets.

“We knew they would be a strong team and we had to bring our best. Unfortunately it didn’t work out the way that we wanted it to but congrats to them. They played a great match,” Westhampton Beach senior co-captain Jen Curran, who played at second singles with partner Emma Way, said after the match.

Curran and Peruso, co-captains who had just pkayed together as doubles partners upstate, along with their teammate Hayes, who placed fifth in the state individually, both said it was a great season, despite coming up just a bit short in the LIC.

“We’re just so proud of our team and how far we’ve come,” Curran said. “Even that we made it back to the Long Island Championship again, such a great accomplishment.”

“Even though we didn’t win LIC this year we won it last year and were Suffolk County champions this year, so you take the good and kind of leave the bad,” Perusi said. “We had a great year. Our teammates are incredible and they’re going to have a great year next year and we’re going to miss them.”

Peruso and Curran are two of four players who are graduating in June, along with another strong doubles pairing in Helena Jones and Rieve Delisle. Czartosieski said he’s already “planted seeds” in his younger players’ heads who are slated to return next year, that they’re going to have to improve over the offseason if they want to continue the team’s recent string of successful seasons.

“Our doubles teams are fine right now for the league, and in a lot of cases the county and the division, but when you get to this level you really have to play well and you have to play with confidence, can’t be scared, and you have to execute,” Czartosieski said. “We’re hoping to come back with stronger doubles teams. I know my singles lineup is going to be really good.”

But Czartosieski will miss his outgoing seniors, most of whom have been on varsity the past four years and played vital roles in the team’s success.

“They’ve had a great run,” he said. “They know what it’s all about, they know what it takes to win. They were all on the team last year so I was happy they were all able to experience the LIC. Been just a terrific group … I’m going to miss them.”

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