On Thursday, Suffolk County Girls High School Tennis action featured a non-conference matchup between Huntington High School and defending Suffolk County Champion Half Hollow Hills East. Hills East has been on a quite a tear over the past few years, winning 57 consecutive Suffolk County matches.
“It happens on that side of the fence,” said Hills East Coach Tom Depelteau, referring to the players on the court. “They come to me with so much talent and experience that it makes it easy for me to find cohesion between players. This is probably the most experienced team I’ve had in several years, and the year we should be able to put it all together.”
On Thursday, Hills East junior Ester Chikvashvili, last year’s Suffolk County Champion, was resting after her big win a day earlier against Courtney Provan, so there was a bit of a shakeup in the lineup but that didn't stop Hills East.
Ester’s sister, Stephanie Chikvashvili, and doubles partner, Melissa Achenbaum, of Hills East won their first doubles match in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1. Junior Gabby Raziel of Hills East defeated Sophia Latt of Huntington to win in second singles, 6-2, 6-0.
"I started slowly with my serve, but then played a lot better as the match went on,” Raziel said. “I am happy with how I played today overall and excited to get the win."
Hills East senior Vanessa Scott defeated Huntington’s Emily Shutman in straight sets 6-4, 6-4 in first singles.
“It was a very close match, she played really well,” said Scott after the match. “This is my last year playing high school tennis, and I want to finish out my career with a successful season and am glad I was able to pull out the win today."
Jamie Fishlow, coach of Huntington High School, added, “There is some good competition out there today, as our girls held their own and our first singles player, Emily Shutman, gave Vanessa [Scott] a run for her money.”
Mary Kravitz & Joanna Wang defeated Hailey Giordano & Hillary Hardart at third doubles to clinch the win for Hills East, who eventually won the overall match 6-1.
Hills East will have their full lineup back today as Ester Chikvashvili, who is hoping to play her college tennis at Stony Brook next year, will play first singles as Hills East takes on Commack. This Monday, Hills East will meet Floyd High School for a rematch of last year’s Suffolk County Championship. Huntington who is 5-0 in League II, will play Walt Whitman High School this afternoon.
Other scores from Long Island Girls High School Tennis yesterday:
►Plainedge 5-Hicksville 2
►Freeport 4-Bethpage 3
►Valley Stream Central 7-Division 0
►Calhoun 7-Hicksville 0
►Herricks 4-Oyster Bay 3
►Bay Shore 7-West Babylon 0
►North Babylon 4-Lindenhurst 3
►Commack 5-Smithtown East 2
►Glenn 6-Kings Park 1
►Bayport-Blue Point 4-Port Jefferson 3
►Sayville 5-Connetquot 2
Credit all photos to Matthew Cohen
Sisters Ester Chikvashvili and Stephanie Chikvashvili from Half Hollow Hills East High School
Gabby Raziel in her win Thursday over Huntington
Gabby Raziel and Julia Raziel after HHE's Thursday afternoon victory over Huntington
Members of the Huntington High School Girls Tennis team