HHH East again the team to beat in Suffolk boys tennis

Boys singles semifinalist Zain Ali of Half Hollow Boys singles semifinalist Zain Ali of Half Hollow Hills East. (May 18, 2011) Photo Credit: Joseph D. Sullivan

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DIVISION IAnd you thought the Miami Heat was on a roll. Try theHalf Hollow Hills Eastboys tennis team. The squad carries a 60-match winning streak against Suffolk opponents into this season, returning junior Zain Ali, who reached the state individual singles tournament last season, and Kyle Alper and Jeff Cherkin, the defending county doubles champions. Expect Hills East to again be the class of a challenging League I and the favorites for another county title.

Commackcould be the biggest threat to Hills East in Suffolk and League I, returning the all-county doubles pair of Cory Seltman and Nick Fox with freshman Andy Zhou, at first singles, entering his third varsity season. Commack coach Shane Helfner said this is the best team he's had since the Cougars last won the Suffolk championship in 2009.Whitman has a strong singles lineup, led by former county singles champion Brandon Stone, and junior Justin Park.Hills West also is expected to be solid but is young with the Davis twins, sophomores Dylan and Duane, at first doubles, and freshman Aziz Rashidzada at first singles.Northportmoves in from League I and is expected to be strong in League II. John Knight and Harlan Grossman leadGlenn, which also could compete for a league title.

DIVISION IIBay Shoreis led by seniors Steven Masciale and Zach Romanzi and the defending league champion is the favorite in League III. Islip hopes to challenge Bay Shore and is aiming to make some noise in the Suffolk playoffs, returning a top doubles pair in Dan Sliwowski and Connor Jeran, and adding sophomore Michael Denigris at first singles.East Isliphas nine returning starters, led by Frank Artusa, Terrence Nixdorf and Matt Talamo.Sayville'sTyler Hoffman is another favorite to win the county singles title.

North Babylonis expected to be the top team in League IV, led by three freshmen: Zane Sidiqui, Linus Fortaleza and Tyree Grimsley.

DIVISION III

Ward Melvilleis the team to beat in League V after making an undefeated run to the county final last season before finally losing in the championship match to Hills East. The Patriots have a strong and deep singles lineup led by Cole Laffitte, with Matt Baruch, James Kyrkanides and Mitchell Berger behind him. Bayport-Blue Pointcould challenge Ward Melville with its depth and six seniors, led by Jeremy Morgenbesser and Cory Zirkel.

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Seniors James Heyden and Anthony Fisher lead Comsewogue as the favorites in League VI, withStony Brookand Sachem Northexpected to compete.

DIVISION IVWesthamptonis a contender, led by juniors Cooper Lacetera and Kevin Cino. Ross is always dangerous, while Floyd hopes to be in the running in League IV. Mattituckis the favorite in League VIII, returning its top two singles players in freshman Garrett Malave and Parker Tuthill.

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