As one might expect of a top high school tennis player, Chris Kuhnle brings many weapons with him onto the court. For one thing, there is his impressive shot-making ability. And his knack for returning shots like a machine can sap the spirit out of an opponent.
Perhaps just as importantly, the Shoreham-Wading River senior can do something else: He can adjust his game.
As it turns out, you can go home again. At least the Shoreham-Wading River high school boys tennis team can.
After two years as road warriors, the Wildcats have a true place to call home.
Shoreham-Wading River junior Chris Kuhnle (25-0), who hasn’t had to play a third set this season, is the Suffolk County singles champion. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)
Chris Kuhnle had not been extended to a third set all season, so why should things have changed for the Suffolk County boys tennis individual tournament? The Shoreham-Wading River junior lived up to his No. 1 seed, beating all four opponents he faced to capture the county singles title.
Kuhnle defeated the No. 2 seed, Stephen Gruppuso of Bayport-Blue Point, 6-2, 6-3, in the final last Wednesday at William Floyd High School. The result brought Kuhnle’s record to 25-0 and made him the first Shoreham boy to win a county crown since Christopher Cahill, who accomplished the feat over 20 years ago, according to Shoreham coach Debbie Lutjen. (more…)
Shoreham-Wading River junior Chris Kuhnle (20-0), who hasn’t been pushed to three sets this season, won the Division IV singles championship. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)
SUFFOLK COUNTY DIVISION IV CHAMPIONSHIPS
Chris Kuhnle said it wasn’t easy. The scores may suggest otherwise, but Kuhnle said winning the Suffolk County Division IV singles championship on Monday was hard work, something he is not a stranger to.
Hard work, Kuhnle said, is what has brought his tennis game to where it is. The Shoreham-Wading River High School junior, the top-seeded player in the division tournament, reached the final for the second year in a row. The only difference is this time he was the one presented with the keepsake tournament bracket that goes to the champion. (more…)
Christopher Kuhnle returns to play first singles for Shoreham-Wading River this season. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk, file)
Debbie Lutjen, who coached the Shoreham-Wading River High School boys tennis team from 1986 to 1995, has returned to the Wildcats, taking over the team from Chris Bevelander.
Lutjen, who also coaches Shoreham’s girls tennis team, was asked if she noticed any changes in the boys game since she last coached the Shoreham boys.
“I think it’s changed in the same way that girls tennis has,” she said. “The top players are putting more time in out of season and playing year-round, so that’s raising the overall level of the players we have competing.” (more…)
Riverhead freshman Jens Summerlin in action against Southold/Greenport senior Dylan Stromski on Tuesday. (Credit: Garret Meade)
CLIPPERS 7, BLUE WAVES 0
Dylan Stromski had a choice to make before the high school boys tennis season started. The Southold/Greenport senior, who was an All-County doubles player last year along with Will Richter, had the choice of remaining at doubles or switching to singles. Doubles would have been the safe pick, but Stromski opted to play singles for the first time since he was a freshman. (more…)
Parker Tuthill brought Mattituck one of its three wins at singles, defeating Shoreham-Wading River’s Brandon Porcele in two sets. (Credit: Garret Meade)
TUCKERS 4 1/2, WILDCATS 2 1/2
Tiebreakers in tennis are pressure situations. Tiebreakers in a decisive third set are even tougher still.
With a light rain falling on a wet court and a chill hanging in the air, Ty Bugdin and Sean Granberg felt the heat. Then they responded. (more…)
Riverhead captain Steve Velasquez and his teammates enjoyed a break in the weather during Tuesday’s practice. (Credit: Garret Meade)
Early preseason practices can be stressful enough for high school boys tennis coaches who feel the pressure of the clock as they hurry to ready their teams for the coming season. Positions need to be filled, challenge matches need to be played and lineups need to be determined, all with the sense that the calendar is working against them. The date of that first match gets closer by the day. (more…)