In the latest installment of the Syosset-Roslyn rivalry, the two notoriously dominant programs met in the Nassau County Championship at Eisenhower Park on Thursday afternoon.
After seven intense flights of tennis, it was the Braves of Syosset who claimed the county championship by edging the Bulldogs 4-3. Syosset has now won five of the last six county titles.
“Roslyn’s a great team. Awesome depth, top-heavy singles players and great doubles players. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy,” said Syosset head coach Shai Fisher. “I’m just proud of our boys. This is an extremely young team, and they just kept improving. Our singles lineup was pretty solid, but it was the depth and the improvement of our doubles that really carried us through the year.”
It was the doubles teams that would push Syosset to the early lead on Thursday. Chris Vallone & Devan Melandro won 6-1, 6-3 at first doubles, and Evan Lee & Nikhil Shah posted a 6-2, 6-4 victory at second doubles to give their team the advantage.
Roslyn’s Eli Levitt & Matt Stone put the Bulldogs on the board with their 7-5, 6-3 victory at fourth doubles, but Jeremy Levine brought Syosset within one win of the county title after he won 6-1, 6-3 at third singles.
Jeremy Levine, who paired with fellow co-captain Brian Gao to win the county doubles title last weekend, won at third singles on Thursday.
Soon after, the third doubles duo of Spencer Keschner & Dylan Apfel completed their 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 comeback win to clinch the championship for the Braves.
“We didn’t want to think about the score too much because we wanted to remain calm, but we had an idea of what was going on,” said Keschner. “After months of practice, and going through the whole season, it means a lot. And we won 4-3, which means we needed contributions from everyone…the atmosphere here today was great, and everyone was so excited. It means everything.”
Dylan Apfel hits a forehand during the clinching third doubles win for Syosset.
With two matches remaining despite the county title already being clinched, Roslyn continued to fight on the first and second singles courts. Ethan Solop completed a comeback from 1-5 down in the third set to win at second singles, while Mikey Weitz won in three sets at first singles to round out the Bulldogs’ three victories.
Mikey Weitz won at first singles for Roslyn.
Syosset now moves into the Long Island championship, where it awaits the winner of the Suffolk County winner. That match is scheduled for Friday, June 18.
“It was a hard-fought match,” said Levine. “We got the team win, and that’s all that matters. We still have one more left to go though, the job isn’t finished.”
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.