| By Brian Coleman
Photo credit: Brian Coleman

As the defending Nassau County Girls High School Tennis champions, the Manhasset Indians played each and every match of the 2015 season with a target on its back.

And each and every time, Manhasset’s girls came through, culminating in a 5-2 victory over Cold Spring Harbor on to complete the undefeated season and win its second straight Nassau County Championship.

“The girls came into the beginning of the season wanting to go back to back. It has never been done before at Manhasset,” said Manhasset Head Coach Eileen Cuneo. “But they also knew it’s always harder to repeat than it is to win the first one. We never looked ahead to any match or opponent, just always focused on the match at hand. And the girls really embraced that and took that on.”

Manhasset really embraced that focus this season, and it resulted in a perfect 16-0 record heading into the County Championship. But standing in its way was a deep and talented Cold Spring Harbor team from Conference II, led by eighth grader and top singles player Merri Kelly Hannity, who squared off with Manhasset’s Amanda Foo.

In a matchup between two of the top players in Nassau County, this match did not disappoint. Hannity was able to pull out the first set 7-5, but Foo, a senior, did not fold, used her experience to stage a comeback over the next two sets.

She raced out to a 5-2 lead in the second set, and even after Hannity was able to get a break back and close the deficit to 4-5, Foo broke Hannity to win the second set and force a deciding third.

In the third set, Foo had a chance to serve for the match with a 5-3 lead. She built a 40-love advantage and had four match points, but Hannity showed toughness, saving all four of the match points to extend the match for at least one more game.

But much like the second set, Foo broke right back, closing out the match and securing a big 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 comeback win.

“Amanda has had an incredible season,” said Coach Cuneo. “She has been on the varsity team since eighth grade. I have seen this young woman develop into such a confident and persevering player. She is so determined. Regardless of what the score is, she keeps righting until the end. She comes out with an open mind and just plays her heart out.”

Manhasset would take the second and third singles matches as well, as Stephanie Petras and Brooke DiGia both won in straight sets, and had the 2015 County Championship clinched after the team of Alina Zhitnik & Yaya Wang hung on to beat Dylan Beder & Katherine Faria, 7-5, 5-7, 6-4 at second doubles.

The win moved Manhasset’s record to 17-0 on the year and earned them a second straight Nassau County Championship.

“This is amazing,” said Foo. “It was incredible to win last year and to repeat is fantastic.”

Credit all photos to Brian Coleman

Manhasset’s Amanda Foo during her win over CSH's Merri Kelly Hannity

 

Cold Spring Harbor's Merri Kelly Hannity battles Amanda Foo during the Nassau County Championship
 

Brian Coleman

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