Heading into the Nassau County Championship between Port Washington and Syosset, most people knew it would be a tightly-contested match. The county’s two top seeds had been on a collision course throughout the season, and squared off with a county title on the line on Monday.
And the match did not disappoint. In the end, it was the Braves of Syosset who came out victorious, defeating Port Washington 4-3 at Eisenhower Park to earn the program’s second county title in the last three seasons.
“I give the girls and the parents all the credit. This was not your normal season,” said Syosset head coach Shai Fisher. “They were so dedicated from the beginning. It was a completely different season than we’ve ever had, but they just hung in there and kept building with each match. We have an ultra-young team, but they stuck together and it paid off. I’m so happy for them.”
The Vikings jumped out to the early lead as Dasha Perfiliev won 6-0, 6-2 over Eesha Kaushik at first singles, and Ellie Ross notched a 6-0, 6-0 against Rachel Lin at second singles.
Dasha Perfiliev won at first singles to put Port Washington ahead early.
But from there, the Syosset comeback was on. Elsie Ho & Amanda Huang defeated Grace Ain & Yazmeen Deyhimi 6-1, 6-1 at third doubles to put the Braves on the board, and, soon after, Alexa Brecher scored a 6-0, 6-3 victory against Katie Kors at third singles to knot the overall team match at two-all.
Alexa Brecher's notched a key win at third singles for Syosset.
Iris Ho & Mia Silverman held on to win 6-4, 6-1 over Yasmeen Munoz & Joanne Salloum, bringing Syosset within one win of the county title, with first and second doubles remaining.
On the first doubles court, Alex Ho & Liv Tiegerman found themselves in a comfortable position: down a set. In their semifinal against Hewlett, Ho & Tiegerman also dropped the first set, only to come back and win to help push Syosset into the county championship.
“In our semifinals against Hewlett, we were also down a set and came back to win, so that helped our mentality,” said Ho. “We really wanted to stay positive and be more consistent. We figured that since we were down a set, we had nothing to lose and we’re the underdogs anyway…we just left it all out there.”
The duo did just that, fighting back to win 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 and sealing the county title in front of the fans that gathered to watch the last two matches on court.
“The cheering helped a lot,” said Tiegerman. “It really makes us stay positive, and I think it worked in our favor.”
To round out the scoring, Port Washington’s Chloe Fanous & Gaby Sorin won 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 over Sara Gao & Zia Mukherjee at second doubles.
The match was the culmination of a unique season in girls’ tennis in Nassau County, one that was pushed back from last fall and began this year in early March.
“I was not expecting a season at all, if I’m being completely honest,” said Ho, a junior captain. “The fact that we were able to have one, plus playoffs and a county championship is amazing. It’s such an honor to be a part of this whole collaboration.”
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.