Zachary Mollo and Brandon Nomberg were scrambling. Safely ahead in their match against Eric Handelman and Adam Wilck at second doubles, the senior duo knew the importance of the next point.
After frantic back-and-forth volleys that ended with an errant Hills East shot, the entire Colts team let out a roar that was years in the making.
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Mollo and Nomberg's 6-0, 6-1 win clinched a 5-2 victory and the Suffolk County title for host Hills West (15-1) Tuesday. Hills East had won the previous five championships and nine of the last 10.
"We worked so hard all year," Mollo said. "It feels great to finally get a championship."
Hills East was the team that had stood in the way of Hills West each of the previous two years. But with eight returning seniors, the Colts knew they'd have their best chance this year.
"This means the world to me and my team," senior Duane Davis said. "We've been in the shadow of Hills East for all four of my years here and it's great to show that our hard work and dedication paid off."
Davis defeated Ross Reiffman, 6-2, 6-4, at second singles to help the Colts get out to an early lead.
"This was definitely the year we knew we could get them [after losing their seniors from last year]," Davis said. "This was the year and we were able to capitalize."
Hills West was the only team to knock off the Thunderbirds (16-3) all year, ending Hills East's 106-match Suffolk winning streak earlier this season.
Hills East got an early boost from first singles Travis Leaf, who defeated Hills West's Aziz Rashidzada, 6-4, 6-1. Hills West had a 3-2 lead after five completed matches and needed to win just one more to clinch.
Cameron Klepper added an exclamation point when he won, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4, over Abhinav Srivastava at third singles after the outcome was already decided.
Dylan Davis and Evan Nierman picked up a win at first doubles, coming from behind, 3-6, 6-0, 6-2, to defeat Brian Rhee and Sahil Varma, and Jackson Weisbrot defeated Tyler London, 6-0, 6-1, at fourth singles
"They had drive, dedication and determination," Hills West coach Kim Langendorfer said. "They worked really hard and they wanted it -- and they did it."