| By Bruce Lindenman
The 3.5 Long Island team began three seasons ago as a 3.0 team that rattled off 21 straight victorious matches, including two at the national championships in Las Vegas. Two seasons ago, the team moved up to 3.5, added a few good players and wound up in the middle of the pack. This past season, the team added five new players and found the right combination to win.
The 2009 season was to be an ultra-close, super competitive season that had us winning the West 3.5 Division by just five and seven points over the second and third place teams, respectively. The season began with a bang as our first match was a 15-7 victory over the ultimate second place finisher that could have gone either way, as first doubles ended in a victorious super tie-breaker.
The intense competition continued all season long, as every team in the division had some very strong players and there were so many courts decided by super tie-breakers. All of the top four teams had a chance for the playoffs going into the last two matches of the season.
Highlighting the season were wins over the other three top contenders, which ultimately gave us first place in the division. Every one of these matches had first doubles decided by a super tie-breaker which we were able to win.
The first playoff round was a 4-1 victory against a very strong team Setauket team. The second round for the Long Island Championship had us up against an undefeated Blue Point team who had lost only seven courts the entire season, including their impressive first round playoff win over a very competitive Nassau team by a score of 4-1.
We approached the championship match with some of our top players injured or unavailable. But every team has to overcome difficulties to win, and our players stepped up their play to edge the Blue Point team three courts to two including winning first doubles in a super tie-breaker.
The success of the season was very sweet, due to the high level of competition throughout the year and all of the teams kept up the pressure on each other.
In addition to our league play, several members of our team volunteered to work at Arthur Ashe Kids Day at the start of the U.S. Open. We look forward to volunteering again next year.
Bruce Lindenman