It was an all-Commack battle in the Suffolk County Division I Individual tournament final on Tuesday, as defending county champion Kimberly Liao squared off against fellow Cougar Emily Tannenbaum.
“It’s weird,” Liao said of playing against one of your teammates. “Since we’re always supporting each other during matches, and we now we had to play against one another. But you just have to put that aside and just play.”
And that’s just what she did. Liao secured an early break for a 2-0 lead in the opening set against Tannenbaum, and one more break later saw her wrap up the first set 6-2.
She would break again for a 2-0 lead in the second set and never looked back, using her improved groundstrokes to neutralize the left-handed Tannenbaum, winning the Suffolk Division I title with a 6-2, 6-1 victory.
Commack's Emily Tannenbaum finishes a serve during the Suffolk County Division I finals on Tuesday.
Liao and Tannenbaum both qualify for this weekend’s Suffolk County tournament at Suffolk Community College in Selden.
“You just have to learn from your experience,” Tannenbaum said of improving after a loss. “You learn what you did wrong, what you did right, and use it in your next match.”
Harborfields Lauren Hutton and Smithtown West’s Daniela Tedoldi also qualified for the county tournament. Hutton defeated Tedoldi in the third-place match on Tuesday after Tedoldi was forced to retire.
In the Division I doubles final, the Smithtown East pair of Olivia Faulhaber and Hailey Stoerback knocked off Hills East’s Ariana Malkin and Lauren Cherkin 7-6(4), 6-4.
Faulhaber, a senior, and Stoerback, a seventh-grader, fought back in the first set to force a tiebreaker, and played a nearly flawless breaker to take the opening set. The duo carried that momentum into the second set to pull off the straight set victory.
Olivia Faulhauber of Smithtown East hits a volley during her doubles victory with Hailey Stoerback in the Division I final.
In the third-place match, the top-seeded pair of Alexis Huber and Gina LaRusso of Hills East defeated Commack’s Emma Mangels and Andriana Kaimis 6-0, 6-2.
Islip dominated the Division II finals on Tuesday, winning both the singles and doubles titles.
Maddie Germano defeated Andrea Brazyte of Connetquot in a thrilling 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 match to win the Division II singles title.
Division II singles champion Maddie Germano and doubles champs Nicole Arey and Grace Klomp with Islip head coach Steve Arey.
“It is such an amazing honor to have won the Suffolk County Division II singles championship,” said Germano. “My opponent Andrea played an incredible match and it took my best effort to win. All of my hard work has finally paid off and I couldn’t be happier.”
The Islip duo of Nicole Arey and Grace Klomp captured the doubles crown, defeating Schlusser and Spellman of Bay Shore.
Hannah Niggemeier of Sayville won the third-place singles match in Division II, while East Islip’s Schreiner and Benardos won the doubles consolation.
Suffolk County Division III Results:
Singles Final: Lai (Ward Melville) d. Eggleston (Ward Melville) 6-1, 6-2
Singles Consolation: Hanscom (Patchogue-Medford) d. Becker (Port Jefferson) 6-2, 6-3
Doubles Final: Collins/Ma (Ward Melville) d. Blydenburgh/Saulino (Longwood) 6-2, 6-3
Doubles Consolation: Berman/Hu (Ward Melville) d. Potter/Keiffert (Patchogue-Medford) 6-3, 6-2
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at email@example.com.