Bucs’ depth key in win­ning first Bayside ti­tle

Record Observer - - Sports - By AYMAN ALAM aalam@star­dem.com

Kent Is­land 5 J.M. Ben­nett 2

The fruits of Rick Tyng’s la­bor bore nearly im­me­di­ate re­sults.

Kent Is­land High’s girls’ ten­nis team cap­tured its first-ever Bayside Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship Tues­day af­ter­noon against James M. Ben­nett, flaunt­ing its depth in a 5-2 vic­tory in Stevensville.

Tyng, in his fourth year with the pro­gram and com­ing off the com­ple­tion of his first of­fi­cial year as a ten­nis pro at Prospect Bay Coun­try Club, has el­e­vated the Buc­ca­neers to the class of the Bayside, and hopes the feeder pro­gram con­tin­ues pay­ing div­i­dends.

“It’s a good first step in cre­at­ing a sus­tain­able pro­gram at Kent Is­land,” Tyng said via a tele­phone in­ter­view Tues­day evening. “What ex­cited me to­day was that slowly but surely, we’re de­vel­op­ing a ten­nis com­mu­nity. Be­yond the kids, we’re get­ting great sup­port from the par­ents and other peo­ple com­ing out to see the kids.”

Kent Is­land wrapped up team com­pe­ti­tion with a 15-1 mark, the lone loss ar­riv­ing against much-im­proved North Dorch­ester.

Ka­t­rina Coyner breezed past Hyunji Lee, 6-0, 6-1, at No. 1 sin­gles, but No. 2, a match be­tween the Bucs’ Kylie Yesker and the Clip­pers’ Abby Bazin, was ac­cord­ing to Tyng, a tone-set­ting crux.

Yesker won that bat­tle 6-3, 6-3, fol­lowed by Abby Car­pen­ter best­ing Emily LeCompte, 6-2, 6-2, Kent Is­land jump­ing out to a 3-0 lead and sit­ting a match within seal­ing the con­fer­ence crown.

“We have been spoiled be­cause we have Ka­t­rina, who’s the best player on the East­ern Shore,” Tyng said. “We’re count­ing on that point and al­ways get that point. What set the tempo were No. 2 and No. 3. At No. 2, our player, who was un­de­feated, was play­ing some­one who was also un­de­feated, and the match was a lot closer than the score in­di­cated.

“That was the piv­otal match right there.”

Kent Is­land’s depth, then, was on full dis­play in the dou­bles matches, as Se­lena Kauf­man and Jenny Hous­ton won, 6-2, 6-4, over Nidhi Menta and Abby Ryan, and Maris Teti and Emily Fron­czek de­feated Kelli Moreno and Zoe Sheller, 6-0, 6-1.

“We’re just for­tu­nate to have 13 or 14 kids who could have played in the top nine,” Tyng said. “It made for some very com­pet­i­tive prac­tices, day in and day out ... it made us a bet­ter team with the depth.”

Ben­nett picked up wins at fourth and fifth sin­gles: Syd­ney Weaver over Kara Per­ti­come, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 and Ly­dia Marks de­feat­ing Grace Park, 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 1-0 (7-4), the No. 5 match be­ing de­cided by a one-point tiebreaker since the ti­tle was al­ready clinched in the dou­bles com­pe­ti­tion.

Per­ti­come and Park bat­tled back af­ter drop­ping the first sets of their re­spec­tive matches to force third-set tiebreak­ers, earn­ing praise from Tyng de­spite ul­ti­mately fall­ing.

“In be­tween sets, be­cause we’re not ac­cus­tomed to play­ing two out of three, we had to make sure they’re not dis­cour­aged af­ter los­ing the first set,” Tyng said. “They had to com­part­men­tal­ize the first set, and they were able to scrap back and win the sec­ond set. It showed me guts and de­sire on their parts to win the sec­ond set.”

“We’re de­vel­op­ing a feeder pro­gram where the kids fi­nally hit the high school age, they have the ex­pe­ri­ence,” Tyng added. “We’re start­ing some­thing and hope­fully we can see it grow for years to come.”

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @Ay­man_S­tarDem. Email


Mem­bers of the Kent Is­land High girls’ ten­nis team pose with the Bayside Con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship tro­phy on Tues­day. The Buc­ca­neers de­feated James M. Ben­nett, 5-2, to cap­ture the pro­gram’s first-ever con­fer­ence ti­tle.

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