Jackie of Eastport.
That’s how high school girls tennis coaches refer to her. Jackie of Eastport. No last name needed. Anyone familiar with Suffolk County Division IV knows full well who Jackie of Eastport is.
That would be Jackie Bukzin, the Eastport-South Manor junior.
Like surprise gifts from the heavens, Rose Hayes and Sofia Anzalone were not expected, but there they were on the first day of preseason practice for the Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School girls tennis team. When coach Mike Clauberg saw the two United States Tennis Association-ranked players swing, he immediately realized the talent he had available to him.
“I drooled,” he said.
A coach once told Taylor Marelli that the difference between the best tennis players in the world and the above-average players just below them is that those top players keep their eyes on the ball a fraction of a second longer.
It was an intriguing matchup. The athleticism of Riverhead’s Taylor Marelli against the uncanny shot-making ability of Shoreham-Wading River’s Jillian Dinowitz.
Which one would win out?
The Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School girls tennis team is living a charmed life. Not only do the Monarchs have six beautiful brand new courts, which were formally dedicated before their match on Wednesday, but they are now one win away from a second straight undefeated regular season.
How fitting. Bishop McGann-Mercy Diocesan High School unveiled new tennis courts and in their first year playing on the Keith Goodale Memorial Tennis Courts, the Monarchs win a league championship. READ
It’s performance that counts for Jillian Dinowitz, not records or numbers.
“That’s all I really care about is trying to do my best,” said Dinowitz, a junior on the Shoreham-Wading River High School girls tennis team. “I really just care about how I play. The wins and losses really don’t mean much.”
Shoreham-Wading River High School’s top singles player, Jillian Dinowitz, believes she is getting better. Her coach, Debbie Lutjen, agrees, seeing improvement in the junior.