Roslyn's Kat Changtroraleke had no idea how much was on the line as she battled Syosset's Lexee Shapiro Monday.
Changtroraleke was unaware that the six other courts had cleared, and that her third-singles match against Shapiro would determine which team started the girls tennis season 1-0 and which team started 0-1.
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But the outcome had even larger implications than that.
Changtroraleke defeated Shapiro, 6-4, 6-4, to not only clinch host Roslyn's 4-3 Conference I victory, but to also snap the 48-match winning streak that the four-time defending Long Island champion Braves had carried into this season.
"It's a big win," Changtroraleke said. "I didn't even know I was the deciding match until after. It's really special because Syosset is a really good team and [Shapiro] played really well."
Said Roslyn coach Vicki Schnittger: "They have a fabulous team every year, so we're pretty excited to break that streak . . . I never told her it was the deciding match. I didn't want to put that pressure on her."
Changtroraleke trailed 0-2 in the first set, but battled back to take it 6-4. In the second, she led 4-1 with an early break, but was broken back and was tied 4-4. She then held a crucial game to go ahead 5-4, and in the final game came back from 30-0 and 40-30 to break and win the match.
"I lost my focus a little because I was thinking about the outcome," Changtroraleke said. "Once she got back to 4-3 and then 4-4, I kind of had a reality check. I tried to be consistent and focused on hitting the ball well and swinging through my shots."
For Syosset, coach Larry Levane said he expected the streak to end at some point this season with an influx of inexperienced players, but was still proud of the way his team fought Monday and of the accomplishments of the program.
In addition to four consecutive Long Island championships, Syosset has produced the state singles champion in each of the last three seasons.
"We had a great run," Levane said. "It's tough losing the first one, but I knew it wasn't going to continue. Obviously when you win four Long Island championships in a row, you're going to have a streak like this somewhere along the line. Having that consecutive match streak was very special, and something I probably won't experience again as a coach. We could have played a little better today, but we're going to get stronger."