For the past two seasons, the Half Hollow Hills West Boys Tennis team has been knocking on the door of the Suffolk County Championship. On Tuesday afternoon, they busted that door down.
After back to back years of falling to its cross-town rivals Hills East in the Suffolk County finals, Hills West broke through, defeating Hills East 5-2 on a sunny but windy afternoon at Hills West High School.
Jackson Weisbrot got things going for the Hills West Colts early on, defeating Tyler London of Hills East 6-0, 6-1 at fourth singles, nailing down the first victory of the match.
Hills East countered as first singles player Travis Leaf defeated Hills West’s Aziz Rashidzada 6-4, 6-1 to knot the championship at 1-1.
The big swing came on the courts of first doubles and second singles, which played adjacent to one another. Seniors Dylan & Duane Davis, who won the Suffolk County Individual Doubles Title last week, split up, with Duane playing second singles and Dylan pairing up with Evan Nierman at first doubles.
Duane Davis beat Hills East’s Ross Reiffman 6-2, 6-4 to give the Colts the advantage. Soon after, Dylan Davis & Nierman followed suit, coming back from a set down to beat Hills East’s Brian Rhee & Sahil Varma 3-6, 6-0, 6-2.
“It’s always a little different,” Dylan Davis said of playing with a new partner. “But it’s good to play with someone different and develop that chemistry. Especially when playing with a lefty, our serve placement is a little different. And communication-wise too … Duane and I just know where one another is going and with Evan it is a little different, but we played well together.”
After dropping the first set, the Hills West duo found their rhythm and was able to complete the comeback.
“It took a little time to adjust,” added Davis. “But then we kept on doing what we needed to do and stuck to the basics. Our serving and volleying was good and we got to the net and played aggressively.”
With three wins in the book, Hills West needed just one more victory to capture the 2015 County Championship.
That win would come at fourth doubles, as Zachary Mollo & Brandon Nomberg beat Eric Handleman & Adam Wilck 6-0, 6-1 in front of many onlookers, who let out a huge ovation after match point was won.
“They had drive, dedication and determination,” said Hills West Head Coach Kim Langendorfer. “They worked really hard and they wanted it—and they did it.”
Cameron Klepper added to the win with a 6-2, 3-6, 6-4 victory over Abhinav Srivastava at third singles after the County Title was clinched.
Hills West finished the season at 15-1, with the only loss coming in a County-crossover matchup against Syosset. Hills East concluded up its season at 16-3, with all three losses dished out by Hills West.
Credit all photos to Brian Coleman
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.