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Top Sports Stories 2015: A county champion crowned


All the work Chris Kuhnle has put into his craft — the tournaments, private coaching, drill sessions — is what brought him to where he found himself this spring. 

The Shoreham-Wading River tennis player, playing in his fifth varsity season, reached the finals in both the Division IV tournament and the Section XI tournament. When both were over, Kuhnle stood alone as the singles champion.

A junior this past year, Kuhnle compiled one of the best individual tennis seasons in program history. He reached the finals of the division tournament where he found himself against Julian MacGurn of East Hampton/Bridgehampton/Pierson, a match Kuhnle easily won, 6-0, 6-1.

Behind his typically consistent play and powerful shots, Kuhnle improved to 20-0 after that win to set the stage for the county tournament.

Late in the month, Kuhnle extended his unbeaten season as the No. 1 seed in the county tournament. In the finals he faced the No. 2 seed, Stephen Gruppuso of Bayport-Blue Point and earned a 6-2, 6-3 victory. He brought his season record up to 25-0 and became the first Shoreham player to win a county crown in more than 20 years.

In his first 25 wins of the season, Kuhnle never went to a third set. His toughest match up to that point turned out to be against No. 4 seed, Emmanuel Vacalares of East Islip, which Kuhnle won 7-5, 7-6 (7-3).

Kuhnle went on to place fourth in the state tournament. He won his first two matches before losing in the quarterfinals. He closed out the year with a 27-2 record.

Previous 2015 Top Stories

SWR baseball reaches county finals

Riverhead relay team matches record

League champion girls soccer team

Mercy girls dominate on track

Riverhead wrestler wins county crown