Featured Story
09/08/16 7:00pm
09/08/2016 7:00 PM

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The Bishop McGann-Mercy girls tennis team begins the 2016 season in new digs at the Keith Goodale Memorial Tennis Courts. The upgraded facility, funded through donations from the Goodale and Kappenberg families, now features six courts instead of four. READ

Featured Story
04/08/16 8:53pm
04/08/2016 8:53 PM

Shoreham-Wading River tennis player Chris Kuhnle 040816

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.
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05/27/15 1:00pm
05/27/2015 1:00 PM
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)

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…)

03/27/15 5:00pm
03/27/2015 5:00 PM
Christopher Kuhnle returns to play first singles for Shoreham-Wading River this season. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk, file)

Christopher Kuhnle returns to play first singles for Shoreham-Wading River this season. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk, file)

 

PREVIEW

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…)

09/04/14 5:00pm
09/04/2014 5:00 PM
The Shoreham-Wading River High School tennis courts have been closed and locked since March after they were declared unsafe. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister)

The Shoreham-Wading River High School tennis courts have been closed and locked since March after they were declared unsafe. (Credit: Joe Werkmeister, file)

PREVIEW

No shortage of challenges face the Shoreham-Wading River High School girls tennis team this fall. For one thing, the Wildcats do not have the use of their home courts, which have fallen into serious disrepair and are unplayable. If that wasn’t enough, for the first time in seven years, they will be without Aimee Manfredo, one of the top players in the program’s proud history. (more…)

10/15/13 8:21pm
10/15/2013 8:21 PM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Aimee Manfredo said her backhand was the MVP of her strokes Tuesday when she won her third Division IV singles title.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Aimee Manfredo said her backhand was the MVP of her strokes Tuesday when she won her third Division IV singles title.

DIVISION IV INDIVIDUAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

They don’t give out any trophies or medals for winning the Suffolk County Division IV girls tennis singles title, but Aimee Manfredo did bring home some intriguing spoils of victory Tuesday: the draw sheet of the tournament and a bag of candy corn — her favorite candy — given to her by her teammates.

“I have the draw sheets from every time I’ve won,” the three-time division champion said. “So it’s a nice little memory.”

Manfredo certainly also brought home some nice memories from William Floyd High School, as the Shoreham-Wading River senior culminated a brilliant tournament and performance with a 6-1, 6-1 triumph over Eastport/South Manor’s Jackie Bukzin. In her five tourney matches, Manfredo lost only four games.

Shoreham coach Debbie Lutjen called the win “very efficient. Awesome. Very few mistakes throughout the whole match. She kept herself in control the entire match.”

While she savored winning another league crown, Manfredo realized that she had yet another challenge looming over the horizon — the county championships at Smithtown East High School on Saturday and Monday.

“I think I’m going to rest tonight and then get back because I need to eat my candy corn, so I don’t think I should eat it and play tennis.” she said. “I’ll definitely be back [Wednesday].”

And then Manfredo will set her sights on winning her first county title. She reached the final last year.

“I expect a tougher draw because … [the division tournament] wasn’t really competition until the semis and finals,” she said. “That’s when I was really focused and tried to play my best tennis. I expect the counties will be every single match you will have to play your best match to get there. I really just have to hope that I am on my game that day.”

So does Lutjen, who has high hopes for Manfredo.

“Playing the way she played today, the sky’s the limit,” Lutjen said. “If she plays like this, she’s as good as anyone out there. She’s really playing well. She’s playing the best tennis of her career right now. That’s what you want. You want to be peaking at the right time going into the tournament. She’s playing with confidence and playing with a lot of maturity and control.”

Manfredo demonstrated that Tuesday, breaking Bukzin’s service four times.

“I played really well,” she said. “I warmed up really well. I felt I was hitting the ball great. Then I got into the match and I was so nervous because the last match I played against her went to three sets. It was: ‘Oh my gosh. It was going to be tough.’ I just came off hitting well on both sides. Nothing bothered me. In my last match, I had some issues. If I lost a game, I would be like, ‘Oh my God, you’re going to lose.’ But today, I don’t even remembering those two games. I just forgot about everything and played my game.”

The key to Manfredo’s game was a strong backhand.

“I loved my backhand today,” she said. “I think that was the MVP of my strokes. My backhand was really solid today and she tried to attack it. But I just got it back every single time. My forehand, I made more errors off of it, although I was winning points. I just felt more solid off my backhand and I could hit like 100 shots in a row. Hit it to my backhand, I’m hitting it back.”

In the doubles consolation match, Bishop McGann-Mercy coach Mike Clauberg found himself in the enviable and unique position of watching an encounter between a pair of friends and teammates from his own school. The M&Ms — Shannon Merker and Delaney Macchirole — defeated Z-squared — Jackie Zaweski and Micaela Zebroski, 6-3, 6-4.

“It’s great,” he said. “I’m just happy that we have four All-County selections, which I believe is the first time in school history. Both teams played really well today.”