Lexi Helburn in singles action for the Huntington varsity tennis team. (Darin Reed photo)

Huntington Girls’ Tennis Eyes Return to Courts

Lexi Helburn in singles action for the Huntington varsity tennis team. (Darin Reed photo)

August 2, 2019

The Huntington High School girls’ tennis team is eyeing a return to the courts on Monday, August 26 for the beginning of the fall campaign. Blue Devil varsity head coach said everyone is welcome to join the team, which is looking for new members.

Huntington graduated All-League seniors Christie Baade, Mia Breitbarth, Maire Brown and Cameron Fehrs off of last year’s squad, as well as Suffolk Sportsmanship Award honoree Emma Grassi. Ashlyn Case and Meagan Malone have also moved on to college.

The 2018 Blue Devils compiled a 3-7 mark in very challenging League I and went 6-9 overall. Huntington finished fourth in the league standings and qualified for the county tournament.

“We reached the playoffs in a tough league,” said Fishlow when asked what the team’s best accomplishment last fall. “We defeated a higher seeded team (East Islip) in the first round of the playoffs.”

Huntington is returning sophomore Tallulah Pitti and junior Isyss Jones in singles. The duo is expected to be the Blue Devils’ top players. “They both made good progress as the season went on,” Fishlow said. “They gained knowledge on how to play big points.”

Veteran varsity returnees also include Lexi Helburn, Caitlyn Palermo, Lily O’Heir and Nina Drakulich.

The Huntington junior varsity girls’ tennis team frequently found itself shorthanded last fall, but did have some very talented athletes on the roster, including Regan Sansiviero and Alyson Baker. Maggie Lalor and Sadie Walters captained the squad.

“The team did a great job,” said Eric Mininni, who is returning as the Blue Devil JV coach. The highlight of the season came in a pair of tight matches against skilled Commack.

“We were in both matches and it really could have gone either way both times,” Mininni said. “Unfortunately, we were unable to win either match, but it was still impressive to be able to compete with Commack.”

Sansiviero held down the No. 1 singles position. “She’s quite a gifted athlete and she improved her tennis skills over the course of the season,” Mininni said. “Regan is a great competitor.”

Baker also shined during her freshman season on the team. “Alyson is a jack of all trades,” Mininni said. “She was my most improved player over the entire year.”

Last year’s JV squad also included freshman Sabeena Ali, Emily Geller and Ainsley Proctor and juniors Kyra DeSalvo and Paige Mangan.

Last fall’s J. Taylor Finley Middle School girls’ tennis team compiled a 7-2 record. Coached by Woodhull Intermediate School physical education teacher Eric Triolo, Finley defeated Elwood (6-1 and 7-0), Northport (7-0), Hauppauge (7-0 and 7-0), East Northport (7-0) and Stimson (4-3). The Falcons fell to Commack (4-3) and Oldfield (5-2).

“Beating a very tough Stimson team was the highlight of the season,” Triolo said. “It came down to the final match. It was a tiebreaker, which we won.”

Finley was led by eighth grade singles players Anna Bell Young (5-4 in No. 1), McKenna Buffa (6-3 in No. 2), Kate Balm (5-4 in No. 3) and Daniela Luca (7-2 in No. 4). Eighth graders Victoria Befumo and Sarah Krisch were Finley’s top doubles team, recording a 5-0 mark. Eighth grader Kendall Germain shined in No. 3 doubles, going 9-0.

Nadeera Ali, Katherine Balm, Victoria Befumo, Sofia Breskin, McKenna Buffa, Kendall Germain, Sarah Krisch, Daniela Luca, Charlotte Wesnofske and Anna Bell Young have also moved on from Finley and will be high school freshmen this fall.

Fishlow hopes all of last year’s eighth graders turn out for the high school team on August 26. Finley’s singles lineup was superb and its doubles teams were always ready when it was their turn to take the court. “Our doubles teams were highly successful, winning a majority of their matches,” Triolo said.

Incoming eighth grader Brooke Farasciano is Finley’s top returning player this fall. Rachel Learned and Ruby Meidenman are also coming back.

Interested in playing for the Huntington High School varsity or JV this fall? Send a message to Coach Fishlow at triforall1@yahoo.com.

Players should report to Huntington High School’s Cupp Courts Complex at 8 a.m. on Monday, August 26 and be ready to hit the courts.

An opportunity for high school athletes (grades 9-12) to obtain a physical exam by the school doctor in the nurse’s office will be provided on Thursday, August 15 at 8 a.m. Students must bring a completed and signed interval health history screening form to the physical exam. (This physical exam is for students who are not getting an exam from their private physician.)

No one will be allowed to participate without presenting an up-to-date physical exam report, signed parent/guardian permission/code of conduct slip and a current health screening form. These documents are available in the athletic office at Huntington High School during daytime hours or via downloading on the school district’s website at www.hufsd.edu – click on the Main Navigation on the top left of the homepage and then on Fall Season under Athletics. Scroll down to Documents and click. A dropdown menu of items will appear.

High school athletes must re-qualify for participation with the school nurse. Fall athletes can re-qualify on Monday, August 19 (9-11 a.m.), Monday, August 26 (7-11 a.m.) and Tuesday, August 27 (7-11 a.m.) Physical exam forms completed by private physicians and signed interval health history screening forms should both be presented to the nurse when requalifying. 

Isyss Jones in action for the Blue Devils. (Darin Reed photo.)
Isyss Jones in action for the Blue Devils. (Darin Reed photo.)
Longtime Huntington tennis coach Jamie Fishlow
Longtime Huntington tennis coach Jamie Fishlow