Led by its singles play, the Thunderbirds of Half Hollow Hills East improved to 7-1 on the season on Thursday as it defeated cross-town rival Hills West 5-2 in a Section XI League I matchup.
Hills East took all four singles flights which included two comeback victories. Ishan Varma fought back to win 1-6, 6-3, 6-2 over Rahul Mathur in the first singles flight, and Krithik Madisetty defeated Ryan Krimber 4-6, 6-4 10-7 at fourth singles to lead the way.
“Beating a rival like Hills West is always a good feeling and gives us a lot of confidence in achieving our ultimate goal of being Suffolk County Champions,” said Steve Ferrantello, Hills East’s head coach.
Ferrantello is in his first year as head coach for Hills East after taking over for longtime coach Tom DePelteau, and has helped lead his team to seven wins in its first eight matches.
“Very important,” he said of getting off to a good start this season. “Especially the way we have been winning, we have had multiple 4-3 wins this season already which gives us that belief that we can pull put matches in high stress situations. Our depth is definitely our greatest strength. I’ve been telling them since day one, there are 14 guys on this team and in each match, any one of them can be the hero for our team that day.”
In Nassau County, Great Neck North got into the win column with a 4-3 triumph over Jericho on Thursday. The Blazers were led by Manny Hakimian and Jack Kosinski who clinched the team victory with a 6-3, 7-6(7) victory at fourth doubles.
The South Side Cyclones bounced back from a loss to down Oceanaide 6-1, receiving a good performance from Russell Scala, who won 6-2, 6-3 at second singles. Cole Birk and Matt Bo held on to win 6-3, 0-6, 6-4 at third doubles to contribute the South Side cause.
Kevin Shanley and Ryan Donofrio notched a straight sets win at third doubles to lead Massapequa to a 5-2 victory over Mepham.
West Hempstead took all seven courts, led by Theodore Kim’s 6-3, 6-1 win at first singles, to beat Malverne/East Rockaway 7-0. Elsewhere in Nassau County, Valley Stream South edged Valley Stream Central 4-3, Farmingdale beat Long Beach 4-3, Wheatley won 6-1 against Garden City, and Roslyn took out Hewlett 5-2.