Protested Shirt Match Revisited, and East Hampton Wins

Alex Weseley, left, and Hunter Medler came out the victors in Monday's do-over. Craig Macnaughton

A showdown between East Hampton and Westhampton Beach High Schools' second doubles teams with a league tennis championship hanging in the balance was played before a rapt crowd at Westhampton Monday afternoon, with the East Hampton team of Alex Weseley and Hunter Medler easily besting the Hurricanes' Brennan Tomlinson and Santo Benenati 6-1, 6-2.

Thus, provided all goes according to form, East Hampton and Westhampton Beach, who were each 7-1 as of Tuesday, will share the title. Westhampton's coach, John Czartosieski, had initially claimed a 4-3 win by forfeit when the two teams met on April 13, saying that Weseley, who had removed his sweatshirt during a changeover following the 11th game of the first set, was violating a Section XI rule by not wearing a team jersey.

Kevin McConville, East Hampton's first-year coach, who is the Hampton Racquet Club's head pro, subsequently protested to Section XI, the governing body for public high school sports in Suffolk County, a protest that was upheld.

The rules, McConville said, stipulated only that appropriate attire be worn. "Alex was wearing a tennis jersey with our colors, maroon and gray," he said at the time. As McConville was running around trying to get a uniform jersey from the bus or from off the back of an East Hampton player who had finished playing his match, he said, Czartosieski called a halt, with the Bonac team leading 6-5 and with Tomlinson about to serve, claimed a forfeit, and told Tomlinson and Benenati, who wanted to continue, that they had no choice in the matter.

In its ruling, Section XI, rather than order that the match be resumed at the point at which it was halted, said, instead, that it should begin at the beginning. "Those 11 games they'd played were deemed invalid because it was an invalid forfeit," McConville reported Section XI as saying.

To prepare his team, McConville worked with Medler and Weseley "for five hours at the Racquet Club on Saturday." His influence was evident during the course of the match. Medler, who admittedly had "not played well the last time," was steady, and Weseley, who had the best serve of the four, was alert at the net, winning numerous points there.

As aforesaid, Bonac's duo won with ease, with only one minor hiccup in the sixth and seventh games of the second set during which the Hurricane pair won six straight points thanks to two blown volleys by Medler, a long return of a lob by Weseley, and a double fault by him that left them up 4-2, after which, with Tomlinson serving, the Westhampton team won the first two points of the seventh game before the Bonackers came back to break Tomlinson at 4-3 to take a 5-2 lead. Medley, as he had in the first set, served it out, a service winner to Benenati capping the victory, which Medler was to describe a few moments afterward as "sweet."

As of Monday, East Hampton and Westhampton each had two matches remaining — East Hampton with Southold-Greenport and Rocky Point, and Westhampton with Shoreham-Wading River and the Ross School.