Heading into Wednesday’s Nassau County Girl’s High School Tennis semifinal, both Cold Spring Harbor head coach Melissa McLees and Syosset head coach Shai Fisher knew this one would be close.
And it was, with the Seahawks of Cold Spring Harbor sneaking out a 4-3 win at Syosset High School on a warm and sunny Wednesday afternoon to reach the Nassau County final.
“We’re super proud of them,” said McLees after clinching the victory. “To come from Conference II, you never think you have a chance against Conference I teams, so to make it through two Conference I teams in this tournament has been amazing.”
The first match off the court was an excellent first singles matchup between Cold Spring Harbor’s eighth-grader Merri Kelly Hannity and Syosset’s Risha Maholtra. Hannity led 6-3, 3-0 before Maholtra had to retire with shin splints, giving the Seahawks the early advantage.
"I played well today," said Hannity. "It'll be tough but I feel confident going into the finals on Friday."
Maddy Richmond would add to the Cold Spring Harbor lead as she hung on to beat Syosset’s Hannah Abraham 6-3, 6-4, and after the second doubles tandem of Dylan Beder & Katherine Faria won 6-0, 6-2, the Seahawks were one win away from booking its spot in the final.
That win would come off the racquets of Brooke Martin & Caroline Reilly, who came back to beat Danielle Jacoby & Ally Newman 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 at fourth doubles to clinch the victory.
“We had the addition of two very young starters, and we had a team that’s a little older, getting that young blood in has really rejuvenated us,” said McLees. “It’s given us more depth and strengthens our doubles all the way down to compete with the better teams in Conference I and that’s something we haven’t had in a long time here at Cold Spring Harbor.”
The Seahawks have a tall task on their hands when they meet undefeated and top-seeded Manhasset in the county final on Friday afternoon at Eisenhower Park.
The Indians knocked off Locust Valley in its semifinal match on Wednesday, with Amanda Foo leading the way for Manhasset in a star-studded first singles matchup as she defeated Alex Koniaev 6-7(6), 6-4, 10-8 to anchor the victory for Manhasset.
At first doubles, Lia Frankis & Kyleigh Harmon came back from a set down to win 5-7, 6-0, 6-2 and seal the deal for Manhasset.
Manhasset is 16-0 while Cold Spring Harbor is 16-1. The two teams will meet at 3:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon at Eisenhower Park for the 2015 Nassau County Championship.
Scenes From the Nassau County Conference I Semifinals Matchup: Cold Spring Harbor vs. Syosset
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.