As the bus for Cold Spring Harbor rolled into Syosset’s parking lot on Monday, the entire team was looking forward for another chance to prove themselves as the elite team on long island. Led by eight ranked members, Cold Spring Harbor was ready to stake their claim to an undefeated season. Morale was high for Cold Spring Harbor, as they lauded their coach for bringing them to this elite rank. “With a coach like Poschmann behind the wheel, you can’t lose”, said Cold Spring Harbor’s Alex Fontini.
While not up to the standards of Cold Spring Harbor’s powerhouse lineup, Syosset’s team was nothing to balk at either. Sporting a very young team, led by Sophomore Kevin Katz and Junior Stephen Peng playing first and second singles, Syosset has only two seniors graduating at season’s end.
The singles matches were rather predictable, with Katz, Peng and Matt Steinberg falling one by one to Harbor’s Josh Levine, Eric Ambrosio and Connor Dauer. After the singles matches, both teams were quick to laud Cold Spring Harbor’s phenomenal play.
“[I] played really well. It’s the second match of the season. It’s a good start”, Ambrosio commented after taking down Peng. Regarding his match with Dauer, Steinberg humbly and eloquently touted his opponent, “It was the perseverance of the opponent’s offense that ultimately led to the weathering of my tenacity and grace.”
Despite his star status among the Long Island tennis ranks, Josh Levine would not forget about the team after his match. “[My] Goals would be to win counties and to win Long Island for the 3rd time.” A sentiment he shares with most of his teammates. When asked about his phenomenal performance, Levine was modest, noting “I think I played well, it was definitely a better performance than last year [against Katz].”
The first doubles match went the same direction as the singles matches, securing Cold Spring Harbor’s win to improve to 2-0. Ranked doubles team Alex Tripiano and Jensen Reiter handily won their match against a seemingly overmatched combo of Jacob Mishkin and Harris Webber for Syosset. Tripiano commented that he and his partner were a “little rusty” in just the second match of the season, but it didn’t seem to affect their performance. “We tried to stay in it for most of the points. They beat us at the net, but we tried our best”, noted Weber upon defeat.
By the time the other doubles matches got underway, the tide was definitely turning Syosset’s way. The doubles team of Jordan Zecher and Ian Baranowski performed admirably and gave Cold Spring Harbor a run for their money, eventually dropping two heartbreaking sets 7-5 and 7-6. This close match was followed by impressive showings from Matthew Teller and Nick Wong as third doubles and Alex Mandel and Kyle Nudelman as fourth doubles, both taking home wins for their school, proving that maybe Cold Spring harbor wasn’t unbeatable. An exhausted Nudelman noted he “played my heart out in that match”, clearly helping him defeat his opponent.
Just as on the Cold Spring Harbor side, Syosset’s team was happy to be out their early this season. “It’s a once in a lifetime experience” Teller stated. The Syosset bench, notably Leo Kuba, was very supportive of their team, remembering that their youth makes them a force to be reckoned with as the season progresses and eventually into next year.
For this year however, it should shape up to be the Cold Spring Harbor Show. Levine, Ambrosio and crew have their sights set on a three-peat, and if the reaction of the coach and his players was any indication, they will certainly reach that “number 1 goal.”
<p>Bobby Colton is a student at Syosset High School who covers the Long Island tennis scene. </p>