With one match remaining in the Suffolk County Championship, the crowd gathered outside the fence of the fourth singles court at Shoreham-Wading River High School. As top-seed Westhampton Beach and third-seed Islip split the first six matches on the day, the county champion would come down to this one match.
“I knew that I just had to stay calm and cool in order to win because it was all on me to take our team to the next step,” said Westhampton’s Julia Stabile. “I just tried to play the same way and stay calm.”
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Stabile did just that, as the eighth-grader clawed her way back from a set down to beat Islip’s Maya Levy 3-6, 6-2, 6-2 and clinch the Hurricanes’ second straight county title.
Prior to her match on Monday, Stabile had not played a three-setter all season.
“She was definitely a little frazzled after that first set, she wasn’t used to this,” said Westhampton head coach John Czartosieski. “But we had a talk and settled down. We encouraged her to keep the ball in play longer, you can push, just keep it longer than your opponent, and she was able to do that.”
Rose Hayes, the county’s individual singles champion, put Westhampton on top early as she won at first singles. Islip then jumped ahead into the lead with wins by Maddie Germano and Kate Berger at first doubles, Kristen Scheidel and Ciara Hand at second doubles and Darienne Rogers and Kendall Delaney at third doubles.
But after Katelyn Stabile and Rose Peruso won at second and third singles, respectively, all eyes turned to the fourth singles court, where the younger Stabile sister sealed the county championship.
Rose Peruso won a key match at third singles, one of four singles victories by the Hurricanes in the Suffolk County Championship on Monday
“I’m just so proud of my girls. We lost half of our starters from last year to graduation, and then for this group to come back and do it again is amazing,” added Czartosieski. “We saw early on in the season that our team was pretty good. A lot of girls who were on the team last year but didn’t play a lot, are in the lineup now and they’ve seen what it takes to win a county title and a Long Island championship. They stepped up their game and we got a lot of good players step up from junior varsity.”
The Hurricanes now look to defend its Long Island title as it plays Nassau County champion Port Washington on Tuesday afternoon at The Hamlet Golf & Country Club in Commack.
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at email@example.com.