| By Brian Coleman
Photo credit: Brian Coleman

Two of the best teams on Long Island converged onto the neutral site courts of Garden City High School on Tuesday afternoon, as the Syosset Braves and Cold Spring Harbor Seahawks met in the Nassau County Conference I Championship.

Cold Spring Harbor was looking to win its eighth consecutive Nassau County Championship, but ran into a Syosset squad that was eager to play the role of spoiler, as the Braves won 5-2 to clinch its first title since 2007.

“I think the first feeling was shock,” said Syosset Head Coach Shai Fisher. “It happened and no one really knew how to react, myself included.”

With wins already at third singles, fourth doubles and third doubles, Syosset needed just one win to clinch the championship. It came on the second doubles court with Evan Lowitt & Preet Rajpal upending Greg Kaplan & Nicholas Sica of Cold Spring Harbor 6-1, 6-3.

Not only did the win give Syosset the championship, but it also clinched an undefeated season as the Braves finished up at a perfect 15-0.

“Even though we lost six seniors from last year, our expectations were to win a county championship,” said Fisher. “The kids put in the time from last year to this year. Each of them worked hard, played group play and tournaments. I think it’s a testament to the kids who have graduated and come through the program, they set the bar.”

The Syosset team got better and better as the season went on. From first singles, all the way to down fourth doubles and the alternates, each member of the team had the same goal: Bring Syosset a County Championship.

Playing in a tough Conference 1-B, the Braves were battle-tested heading into the showdown with Cold Spring Harbor. A 4-3 victory over Half Hollow Hills West earlier in the season in a county-crossover matchup only added to that confidence.

“The guys were just focused from the very first point,” said Fisher. “When it comes to game time, we’re all there for each other. It’s one big family.”

Senior Dylan Granat , who defeated Patrick Hannity 6-0, 7-5 at second singles, was fired up about his team’s victory.

“This was my last match ever playing for Syosset so I came out really aggressive. I came out firing,” said Granat, who will be playing at Bentley University next season. “It’s just awesome. I’m so happy … just so happy for all of these guys.”

Granat, along with first singles player Daniel Shleimovich, will be competing together in doubles at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) championships next week at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

Below are the complete results from yesterday’s match:

Sean Mullins (Cold Spring Harbor) defeated Daniel Shleimovich (Syosset) 6-1, 6-4
Dylan Granat (Syosset) defeated Patrick Hannity (Cold Spring Harbor) 6-0, 7-5
Eli Grossman (Syosset) defeated George Carmi (Cold Spring Harbor) 6-3, 6-2

A.J. Arena & George Muller (CSH) defeated Nikhil Rajesh & Spencer Lowitt (Syosset) 6-4, 3-6, 11-9
Evan Lowitt & Preet Rajpal (Syosset) defeated Greg Kaplan & Nicholas Sica (CSH) 6-1, 6-3
Chad Kagan & Adam Canarick (Syosset) defeated Chase Plancher & Luc Freilicher (CSH) 6-2, 6-2
Yash Samantaray & Aditya Dave (Syosset) defeated Oscar Como & Tommy Campbell (CSH) 6-2, 6-2

Credit all photos to Brian Coleman

Cold Spring Harbor's Sean Mullins gets ready to hit a forehand during his first singles win over Syosset's Daniel Shleimovich


George Carmi of Cold Spring harbor sizes up a return in his third singles match against Syosset's Eli Grossman


Syosset's Eli Grossman chases down a ball at the net


Cold Spring Harbor's Patrick Hannity rips a forehand in his second singles match


Syosset's Dylan Granat tries a dropshot in his second singles win over CSH's Patrick Hannity


Dylan Granat pumps his fist after a big point in his second singles match


Daniel Shleimovich of Syosset chases down a baseline return

Brian Coleman

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