| By Michelle Lehat
Photo credit: Brian Coleman

The 2013 Nassau County Girls High School Tennis Individual Championships consisted of top-notch competitive tennis and saw finalists Taylor Cosme of Herricks and Nicole Koskovolis of Manhasset do battle for the 2013 Nassau County Singles Championship. The unpleasantly cold fall day did not stop the number one seeded Koskovolis (senior) and number two seed Cosme (junior) from playing high-quality tennis. Cosme won the hard-fought match in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.

Both Cosme and Koskovolis showed great athleticism, persistence and a strong competitive nature during their grueling match, making it enjoyable to watch for their many spectators at this year's tournament site at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, N.Y. Cosme’s ability to dictate the points with her effective low-angled forehands and net game was the key component in the match.

As Cosme produced angle after angle, Koskovolis stood strong, responding with effective and penetrating deep shots. Each long and intense point epitomized the competitiveness within the match, but in the end, Cosme was able to do enough to earn the win.

In the first set, after an extremely long and critical sixth game, Cosme broke Koskovolis for the second time in the set securing her a 5-2 lead. In the next game, she held serve to close out the set.

Cosme showed a lot of intensity in the second set and jumped out to a 3-1 lead. Koskovolis’ showed she could fight back getting to within 3-4 and Koskovolis used her aggressive and persistent baseline game, to hold her serve making it 4-5 and she put the pressure on Cosme to serve out the match.

Cosme rose to the challenge in the final game as she had throughout the match and it resulted in forehand winner after winner in the final game.

She came off the court feeling "shocked and happy" as she already started making goals for the upcoming NYSPHSAA.

"I'm excited that the New York High School State Championships takes place indoors, as playing outside today in 50 degree weather was not easy. My new and improved forehand stroke and more effective backhand really helped me win my match."

Taylor reminisced about what helped her win the tough match, admitting to being nervous during the tight match, but being proud she was able to pull through.

Runner-up Koskovolis will join Cosme at the NYSPHSAA High School Tennis Championships in Latham, N.Y. on Nov. 2. She is looking forward to states, saying "I just want to play as best as I can at States and advance as far as possible."

In the consolation match, third-seeded Alex Koniev of Locust Valley, and Ashley Lessen of Wheatley battled, and in the end, it was Koniev who beat Lessen, 6-3, 6-2, sending her to the New York High School State Championships. Koniev is the first player ever to advance to the State Championships in the history of Locust Valley tennis.

The top four finishers all qualify for All-State recognition. In all respects, the 2013 Nassau County Championships enjoyed a great weekend as the players demonstrated good sportsmanship, and high-quality tennis across the board.


Michele Lehat

<p>Michele Lehat is an intern with Long Island Tennis Magazine.</p>