| By Brian Coleman
Photo credit: Brian Coleman

The Massapequa Chiefs captured the Nassau County Conference II championship on Thursday afternoon, defeating the Oceanside Sailors 5-2 at Baldwin High School.

Much like the previous two matches between these two squads, the conference title on Thursday was extremely close. The four doubles matches were finished before any of the three singles matches, and with Oceanside and Massapequa winning two doubles matches apiece, it would come down to singles play.

With plenty of spectators looking on the first three courts, the singles matches did not disappoint. The first to finish up was second singles, as Massapequa’s Thomas DaCosta hung on to beat Oceanside’s Mitch Pleasser 6-2, 5-7, 6-4.

Needing just one win to clinch the conference championship, Matthew Musalo clinched the title for the Chiefs, attacking the net for a gorgeous backhand winner on match point to down Oceanside’s Kyle Cohen 6-4, 4-6, 6-3.

“I am very proud of this team because we set a goal for ourselves at the start of the season, and achieved it,” said Massapequa Head Coach Michael Pavlides. “We didn’t know we would win the conference, but we knew we could compete for the title.”

At first singles, Nasser Ghaffar of Massapequa and Kyle’s brother, Jake, of Oceanside were last to finish up. Despite Massapequa having already won the overall match, Ghaffar and Cohen continued to battle and play exciting tennis with everyone looking on.

Ghaffar would outlast Cohen 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4 in a hard-fought and competitive match.

“I always remind the players that we win and lose as a team, and that every court, singles or doubles, is as important as the other,” Pavlides added. “The season began with my belief that the strength of our team was our depth at doubles. It was very rewarding in the playoffs to see our singles players be the ones that made the difference, and fight to win all six of their matches, all of which were decided in three sets.”

Massapequa’s three singles players also won their three respective matches in their semifinal win over Herricks.

The Chiefs finish the season at 15-1 overall, while Oceanside concludes its 2015 campaign with a record of 12-4.

Below are all seven results from Thursday’s match:

►Nasser Ghaffar (Massapequa) d. Jake Cohen (Oceanside) 6-7(5), 6-3, 6-4
►Thomas DaCosta (Massapequa) d. Mitch Pleasser (Oceanside) 6-2, 5-7, 6-4
►Matthew Musalo (Massapequa) d. Kyle Cohen (Oceanside) 6-4, 4-6, 6-3

►Nathan Cyrulnik & Michael Wohlgemuth (Oceanside) d. Jeremy Wiss & Michael Young (Massapequa) 6-3, 7-5
►Timmy Cecere & Jake Yardeni (Oceanside) d. Vincent Coghill & Zachary Ready (Massapequa) 6-3, 7-5
►Matthew Waterhouse & Alexandre Meirhaeghe (Massapequa) d. Jason Zagorski & Brandon Champagne (Oceanside) 6-1, 6-4
►Mattias Nyitray & Tom Finocchiaro (Massapequa) d. Matt Levitz & Tim Wollweber (Oceanside) 7-6(5), 6-3

Credit all photos to Brian Coleman


Brian Coleman

Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at brianc@usptennis.com