Major questions remain for girls tennis procedures, lineups
Syosset, the three-time defending Long Island girls tennis champion, may have to overcome more than graduating its state champion singles player, Hannah Camhi, to win another title. The Braves were awarded the LIC last season when Half Hollow Hills East forfeited because of a dispute over prematch procedures and lineups. Both Suffolk tennis coordinator Pete Cesare and Nassau coordinator Shai Fisher say they want to hold the LIC this season, but cautioned that the same problem remains -- as the two counties structure their lineups differently -- and there has been no agreement on the rules.
Syosset will at least strive for its fourth straight Nassau title in Conference I, and may have found Camhi's replacement in senior Vivian Cheng. Cheng last played high school tennis as a freshman but joins senior Rithika Reddy as the Braves' top singles players. Port Washington should be Syosset's toughest challenge with nine returning starters. Manhasset returns its top three singles in juniors Nicole Koskovolis and Courtney DiGia and freshman Amanda Foo, seeking another playoff appearance. Hewlett returns the reigning Nassau doubles champions in seniors Gabriella Leon and Veronika Paikin. Oceanside returns county semifinalist, junior Paulina Tafler. Garden City finished last in Conference I but returns the state and county singles runner-up in freshman Morgan Herrmann. Also look out for freshman Alexa Graham.
Cold Spring Harbor upset Friends Academy to win Conference II last season, and will battle Friends again for prime playoff positioning. Wheatley and Plainview JFK will likely fight for the final postseason berth but Great Neck South returns All-State senior Nicole Torres and could be a team to watch.
Massapequa tied for the II-B title and returns seniors Meghan Tamborino and Alexandra Dananberg. Carey could be in the mix and Baldwin, the Conference III champ, joins conference II.
Carle Place will compete with Plainedge and Mepham for the Conference III title. Bethpage joins Conference III after winning IV-A, leaving Valley Stream South and Wantagh to vie for IV-A title. Valley Stream District will try to repeat its undefeated season in IV-B.
Suffolk champion Half Hollow Hills East return its All-State doubles pair of Amanda Luper and Allison Huber and slides sophomore Vanessa Scott into first singles. Look out though for Hills West, as it'll seek its fourth Suffolk title in five years behind All-State senior Zenat Roshidzada. Northport reached the Suffolk final as a 19th-seed after winning League II. Harborfields and Commack expect to be top four teams.
Hauppauge and Huntington will compete for the lone playoff berth in League II, with Hauppauge moving from League I and Huntington returning its top singles player, senior Olivia Ammirati.
Islip and West Islip shared the League III title and will compete for it again with senior Grace O'Hara leading Islip at first singles. East Islip, though, has one of the top players on Long Island in sophomore Karen Serina.
West Babylon, Lindenhurst and Brentwood all recorded at least 11 wins last year. West Babylon won it, but look out for Copiague to also be in the mix.
Ward Melville was undefeated in League V and is again the favorite. Patchogue-Medford will seek its sixth straight playoff berth, returning its two-time All-County doubles pair of senior Sydney Schandel and sophomore Victoria Makulik. Bayport-Blue Point returns its top three singles players, led by All-County senior Laura Torsiello in her sixth season.
Miller Place won the league last year but will have to battle Stony Brook for another title with the Bears migrating from League V.
Westhampton is a perennial power but Mercy could prove superior if it can maintain its late-season hot streak, sweeping its league matches in the second half of last season. Shoreham-Wading River moves up from League VIII with defending Division IV singles champion, junior Aimee Manfredo.
Mattituck was the undefeated League VIII champion, but Eastport-South Manor and Riverhead are stronger.
St. Francis Prep had its 203-match winning streak snapped, but has still not lost a CHSAA match in 14 years. The team lost five starters, however, leaving room for St. John the Baptist or St. Anthony's to take over Class AA. Our Lady of Mercy was undefeated in Class A, but lost 12 players, opening the door for Kellenberg.