09/25/15 8:11pm
09/25/2015 8:11 PM
Riverhead captain Taylor Marelli put away 12 winners in her 6-1, 6-0 win over Southold/Greenport's Willow Wilcenski. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Riverhead captain Taylor Marelli put away 12 winners in her 6-1, 6-0 win over Southold/Greenport’s Willow Wilcenski. (Credit: Garret Meade)

There has been a lot of smiling and laughing by the players on the Southold/Greenport and Riverhead high school girls tennis teams this season. It’s just the wins that have been lacking, but that hasn’t kept either team from enjoying itself.


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09/03/15 3:00pm
09/03/2015 3:00 PM
The new courts at Shoreham-Wading River High School are expected to be completed in about a month. (Credit: Nicole Smith)

The new courts at Shoreham-Wading River High School are expected to be completed in about a month. (Credit: Nicole Smith)

At long last, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

After years of seeing their once-revered tennis courts fall into disrepair, to the point of being condemned and shut down, the Shoreham-Wading River tennis team will soon have a new home.  READ

10/09/14 7:40pm
10/09/2014 7:40 PM


The last day of the high school girls tennis regular season brought one last chance for Riverhead and Southold/Greenport to win — something they haven’t done a lot this fall. In search of a rare victory, the two bottom teams in Suffolk County League VIII that began the day with only one win between them, were in for a surprise.

When the teams arrived in Peconic for Thursday’s match, they found the four courts at Robert W. Tasker Memorial Park unavailable because of maintenance work being done to the courts. That meant that all seven of the individual matches had to be played on the three courts across the street at Jean W. Cochran Park. Southold/Greenport usually uses the courts at both of the parks for their home matches.

With less than three hours of daylight to work with (the courts are not lighted), both Riverhead coach Jerry Duvall and Southold/Greenport coach Howie Geismar agreed that each match would be a pro set, with the first to win eight games the winner.

It worked out well for Riverhead, which snapped a five-match losing streak and finished its season on a winning note thanks to a 6-1 result. It was the Blue Waves’ first win since they defeated the Clippers by the same score on Sept. 19. (more…)

10/03/14 7:51pm
10/03/2014 7:51 PM
Emily Mowdy contributed to Mattituck's singles sweep against Bishop McGann-Mercy. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Emily Mowdy contributed to Mattituck’s singles sweep against Bishop McGann-Mercy. (Credit: Garret Meade)


When the top two high school girls tennis teams in Suffolk County League VII lined up to exchange postmatch high fives, it was the Mattituck Tuckers who were wearing smiles on their faces. They had a lot to smile about.

That is because the Tuckers withstood what could be seen as the last major obstacle to a second straight league championship. Drew Hahn’s victory at fourth singles completed a sweep of all four singles matches for the Tuckers and clinched a 4-3 triumph over Bishop McGann-Mercy on Friday at Mattituck High School. With three matches remaining, the Tuckers (10-1, 9-0) can clinch at least a share of the league title with a win over Southold/Greenport on Monday. An automatic playoff spot also comes with the league crown. (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)


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…)

12/24/13 7:00am
12/24/2013 7:00 AM
GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Aimee Manfredo returns for her sixth varsity season with a 63-19 career record with Shoreham-Wading River.

GARRET MEADE FILE PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Aimee Manfredo.

Shoreham-Wading River senior Aimee Manfredo joined an elite group this fall when she won her third straight division championship in tennis.

It was just the beginning for the Bradley University-bound tennis star. She went on to win the county singles title and remained undefeated heading into the state championship. She became only the third girl in Shoreham history to win a county singles title.

At the state championship, Manfredo advanced into the semifinals before dropping her first match of the season. She closed out the season with a fourth-place finish in the tournament.

Editor’s note: We’re counting down the top 10 sports stories of 2013. Check back every day until Jan. 1 to follow along.

11/06/13 5:00pm
11/06/2013 5:00 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, shown here during the division championship, placed fourth in the state singles tournament, which concluded Monday.

On Tuesday night Aimee Manfredo attended the all-county girls tennis dinner, where she received her hardware for winning the Section XI singles title. It was a rare day off for the Shoreham-Wading River senior, who a day earlier competed in the consolation final of the state championship in Latham, N.Y.

“Today was my break, so tomorrow I go back to training,” Manfredo said.

No time for rest, even with the season behind her.

On Monday Manfredo wrapped up a brilliant career at Shoreham. A six-year varsity player, she completed her best individual finish, placing fourth in the state singles tournament. She lost to Olga Ostrovetsky of Wallkill, 6-4, 6-1, in the consolation final to finish her varsity career with an 89-21 record. She was undefeated heading into the state championship and finished the season 26-2.

“Everything went really well,” she said. “It was a good way to end the season.”

Manfredo won three matches to advance into the semifinals before she fell to second-seeded Sabrina Barisano of Ursuline School, 6-1, 6-1.

Manfredo won her first two matches easily Saturday in straight sets. In the quarterfinals Sunday she fought one of her toughest matches of the year, a three-setter against sixth-seeded Taylor Cosme of Herricks, the Nassau county champion. Manfredo won the first set, 6-3, but then lost the second 6-7 (5).

“In the second set I think I tried to end it too quickly, because I had a couple match points,” Manfredo said. “I got too excited, so in the third set I just really focused on playing my game and just playing every point like it’s the last.”

She bounced back to take the third set, 6-4, assuring herself a spot on the podium as an all-state finisher.

“After I got to the semis I felt like I could breathe,” she said.

The only problem for Manfredo was after the stirring, three-set win, she had just 45 minutes to recoup before having to play her semifinal match. That differed from a United States Tennis Association match, which would have provided 75 minutes between matches, she said.

In the consolation final Monday, Manfredo battled Ostrovetsky tight in the first set.

“In the first set we just didn’t break each other’s serves until it was 5-4 her,” Manfredo said. “Then she got the first break point and converted it. But she played really well.”

Manfredo’s season was the second best individual performance in school history behind Cath Galvin’s second-place finish, according to coach Debbie Lutjen.

“She joined an elite group of players,” Lutjen said.

Manfredo will now prepare for her college career starting next fall at Bradley University. She’ll be back on the courts this week, but not before she allowed herself one luxury.

“I did get mani-pedis, so that was good,” she said.

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10/21/13 6:47pm
10/21/2013 6:47 PM

JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO | Shoreham-Wading River senior Aimee Manfredo and coach Debbie Lutjen after Monday’s Section XI singles final.


As the final ball shot off Aimee Manfredo’s racket and whipped over the net, landing just inside the sideline, the Shoreham-Wading River senior clenched her left hand into a fist and exhaled an enthusiastic “YES!”

Over her six-year varsity career, every moment had been leading up to this.

At last, Manfredo stood alone as the top player in Suffolk County. After falling in the finals of the Section XI Championship last year as a junior, Manfredo delivered a near flawless performance over four matches this year. In the finals Monday afternoon at Smithtown East High School, Manfredo defeated the talented youngster Jackie Bukzin of Eastport-South Manor, 6-3, 6-2.

JOE WERKMEISTER PHOTO | Manfredo defeated Jackie Bukzin of Eastport-South Manor, 6-3, 6-2, Monday.

“I’m so excited and relieved,” Manfredo said afterward, clutching a bouquet of flowers that served as a fill-in trophy until she receives her hardware at the all-county dinner. “I got my scholarship [to Bradley University], I won the conferences and now counties. Everything just seems to be going for me.”

Manfredo became the third Shoreham girl to win a county title and first since Jennifer LoRusso in 1999.

“She joins an elite group of Shoreham-Wading River players who have won county titles,” said Shoreham coach Debbie Lutjen.

Catherine Galvin, who played at Clemson University from 1997-2000, was a two-time county champion for Shoreham.

Early in the season, Manfredo never gave much thought to the county tournament, she said. But over the last few weeks, as she knocked off one goal after another, the impending tournament suddenly came into focus.

“In the last week, I was like ‘Oh, I can actually do this,’ ” she said. “Now I’m going to do this.”

The finals were a rematch of the Division IV tournament finals. Manfredo and Bukzin were playing for the third time this season. Manfredo won a three-set thriller in the regular season and then won 6-1, 6-1 in the division finals.

Manfredo struggled a bit at the outset Monday, falling behind 0-2 in the first set. Once she got her first point, she kept rolling from there, attacking the net to keep Bukzin scrambling from side to side.

“She’s prepared hard for this,” Lutjen said. “She’s worked hard and obviously this was her goal. She really played awesome this tournament.”

After taking the first set, Manfredo quickly jumped ahead 2-0 against Bukzin, who’s only an eighth-grader. Bukzin was one of the only players this year in the county who could really challenge Manfredo.

“When I play Jackie, I have to remind myself, she’s a good player, she’s a tournament player, I need to make good shots,” Manfredo said.

With four wins in the county tournament, Manfredo improved her record to 23-0 this season heading into the state championship starting Nov. 3. For her career, Manfredo is 86-19.

In the semifinals Monday, Manfredo defeated Stephanie Chikvashvili of Half Hollow Hills East, 6-0, 6-0. On Saturday in the first two rounds, she beat Kayla Reidy of Connetquot, 6-1, 6-0, and Rini Halder of Whitman, 6-2, 6-1.

“She’s peaking at the right time,” Lutjen said.

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