Eddie Liao of Commack returns during the Long Island boys tennis...

Eddie Liao of Commack returns during the Long Island boys tennis team final against Syosset on June 18 at Eisenhower Park. Credit: Pablo Garcia Corradi

Newsday Player of the Year: Eddie Liao, Commack, Fr.

Eddie Liao broke onto the scene in Suffolk tennis in a big way this season.

Even though he played for Commack as a seventh-grader in 2019, he showed up bigger, stronger and more skilled this year en route to winning the Suffolk individual title and helping lead the Cougars to the Suffolk team championship.

"His decision-making and his level of athleticism and strength have improved so much," Commack coach Jimmy Delevante said. "His return game improved, his serve game improved tremendously and everything about what he did got a little better; and then his fitness and his size contributed to it as well."

Liao played first singles for Commack, always facing the other team's top player, and ended the season with a 24-0 record.

Nassau Player of the Year: Stephan Gershfeld, Hewlett, Soph.

Hewlett sophomore Stephan Gershfeld won the 2021 Nassau boys tennis individual...

Hewlett sophomore Stephan Gershfeld won the 2021 Nassau boys tennis individual championship. Credit: James Escher

Gershfeld defeated Mike Weitz of Roslyn, 6-2, 6-1, to capture the Nassau singles championship at Eisenhower Park on June 5.

"It’s been my dream to win counties since seventh grade," he said. "I got myself prepared for this tournament. This was the one I was looking to win."

Gershfeld’s county title win gave Hewlett both the boys and girls individual titles, with Rachel Arbitman winning the girls title , something he said was in the back of his mind.

"I knew I had to win this at least once with Rachel winning it so many times [three singles titles and a doubles title]," he said.

And with the advancements he made this year, he’s in line to win a few more.

Chris Qi, Harborfields, Jr.

Qi was the runner-up in the Suffolk individual tournament to Liao, giving the Commack freshman his toughest test of the season before falling, 6-4, 6-4. He also made it to the Suffolk Division I tournament final.

Mikey Weitz, Roslyn, Sr.

Weitz has been a staple at the top of the Roslyn lineup. As a sophomore, he was a part of the Nassau doubles championship. This year, he led Roslyn to a berth in the Nassau team final. He was the Nassau runner-up to Gershfeld in the individual tournament this season.

Jeffrey Rosario, St. Anthony’s, So.

Rosario capped his 10-0 season with a 6-0, 6-4 win over Chaminade’s Colin Liotta to win the CHSAA singles title.

Pictured, top row from left: Chris Qi, Harborfields; Mikey Weitz, Roslyn; Matthew Kronenberg and Gabe Bursztyn, Ward Melville. Bottom row, from left: Brian Gao, Syosset; Jeremy Levine, Syosset; Shai Fisher, Syosset.

Ward Melville's Matthew Kronenberg, Sr., and Gabe Bursztyn, Fr.

The talented duo won the Suffolk doubles titles when they defeated Michael Han and Atreya Raway, 6-2, 7-5, on June 12. They also played a big part in leading Ward Melville to the League V title and the Suffolk team championship final.

Syosset's Brian Gao, Sr.; and Jeremy Levine, Sr.

Levine and Gao won the Nassau doubles championships on June 15 with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Roslyn’s Ethan Solop and Gavin Koo.

They also won crucial singles matches during the season to help lead undefeated Syosset to the Long Island team championship.

Coach of the Year: Shai Fisher, Syosset

Fisher led a young and inexperienced squad to a 15-0 record and the Long Island championship. It was Syosset’s third LI title since 2017.

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