Syosset wins LI tennis championship

Syosset's Hannah Camhi battles against Half Hollow Hills

Syosset's Hannah Camhi battles against Half Hollow Hills West Carly Siegel during the girls Suffolk Tennis Championships held at Oceanside High School. (November 5, 2009) (Credit: Newsday/Frank Koester)

Hannah Camhi laughed at how simple it all sounded in retrospect.
How Syosset becoming the dominant Nassau team, and Long Island team, could be somehow encapsulated in a single sentence: “Since we’ve been doing well in singles and we’ve had such strong doubles teams, it’s just made this season easy for us,” Camhi said.

And that season came to a close with a 6-1 Long Island Championship win over Half Hollow Hills West yesterday at Oceanside. Syosset (15-1), which had just won its first county title since 2004, had never won the Long Island Championship.

“It’s just so exciting to see our team win,” said Camhi, one of the top singles players on the Island. She’ll be traveling to the State Individual Tournament this weekend. “I’ve always wanted to win the Long Island Championships. It’s exciting to have that banner hanging up in our gym.”


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The lopsided final score belies a competitive match that could have easily turned out different. In the end, three of the doubles matches went to three sets, and the points were hard fought in a 6-1, 6-2 first singles win for Camhi over Carly Siegel.

Both girls were shouting in anger at mistakes and grunting with each groundstroke.

“We got the upper hand, but they’re just two excellent tennis players going at each other,” coach Larry Levane said. “It’s kind of like a pride thing . . . But it’s a pleasure to watch because the points are so close.”

But after sweeping first through third singles, Syosset needed only to win one doubles match for the championship.

That assignment fell to the third doubles team of Lisa Fierstein and Natalie Nicholas, who defeated Sonya Polyakov and Mackenzie Schneider, 6-3, 6-4. Fierstein and Nicholas are something of professional clinchers for Syosset, with the pair bragging afterward about how the match always seems to find a way of coming down to them. But an accident nearly derailed the duo.

Fierstein, a competitive dancer, pulled a hamstring Monday night and was not sure she could compete until just before the match yesterday.

“It was really bad, but I just rested, and I was praying that I would last through,” she said. “On only one point I really felt it because I was running pretty hard. I was running on adrenaline. You don’t feel anything then.”

Sara Sodine and Sarah Han, the pair who clinched Hills West’s (18-3) victory in the Suffolk finals, won the lone Hills match, defeating Diana Wee and Tara Petruzillo, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4.

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