It has been nearly a decade, but the Syosset Braves are once again Long Island Champions.
The girls from Syosset captured their first Island title since 2012 after defeating Half Hollow Hills East 7-0 in the Long Island Large School Championship at Eisenhower Park on Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m extremely proud of them for how hard they have worked to get to this point,” said Syosset head coach Shai Fisher. “To come through this year after not being able to have this opportunity last year is a testament to their dedication. Hills East is an excellent team with excellent depth, and our girls played their hearts out today.”
The Braves are typically known for its doubles depth down the lineup, and while that still remains true, the Syosset singles players led the charge on Wednesday.
Syosset claimed the first three singles courts to race out to the 3-0 lead. First off was Zia Mukherjee, who notched a third singles victory over Angelina Malik, which was followed by Alexa Brecher’s win over Emma Sarner at second singles.
Zia Mukherjee won her match at third singles during Syosset's Long Island Championship victory
To close out singles play, Eesha Kaushik defeated Victoria Czoch in the first singles flight.
Needing one court to clinch the Long Island title, the third doubles duo of Mia Silverman & Manami Wakazono came through for their team, notching a 6-2, 6-4 win over Maggie Wang & Samantha Heyman.
“I think it’s amazing to be able to do this with all the girls,” said Silverman, a senior. “It’s my last year playing for my school, and I wanted to have the best tennis season possible, and it’s been great so far.”
Syosset senior Mia Silverman fires up a backhand return during her and Manami Wakazono's title-clinching victory at third doubles
“Our serves were key for us today. It was something we practiced and focused a lot on coming in and it helped us today.”
Syosset got two comeback victories from its doubles tandems as Abby Glenn & Amanda Huang came back to win 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 over Victoria Koch & Christina Zhao 3-6, 6-4, 6-3, while Olivia Tiegerman & Sara Gao won 6-7(3), 6-3, 7-6(6) against Ariel Duber & Alana Zinkin at second doubles.
Hills East's Ariel Dubler and Alana Zinkin during the second doubles match
To round out the scoring, Alex Ho & Rachel Lin were winners at first doubles over Rachel Neuman & Leila Curtis.
“There was a lot of hype for this match. We made sure we continued to have fun and not lose that drive to win,” said Ho, referring to the long layoff in between matches for Syosset. “It’s a very exciting win, and we are so excited to go to States.”
“This is for our seniors,” added Lin. “We wanted to do this for them.”
Those seniors will get to play at least one more high school match when they head to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on Friday. Syosset will take on Bethlehem in the semifinals.
“Winning a Long Island Championship is phenomenal, and we are going to enjoy this one,” said Fisher. “I know the level of energy on this team though, and to have another opportunity to play in an event that has never happened before, I know the girls will be amped up for it.”
Scenes from the 2021 Long Island Large School Championship
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at email@example.com.