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How a loss led Commack's Kady Tannenbaum to winning state title in tennis

Commack's Kady Tannenbaum with her New York State

Commack's Kady Tannenbaum with her New York State High School girls tennis championship medal on Thursday, December 2, 2021. Credit: Dawn McCormick

Kady Tannenbaum's biggest win was made possible because of her toughest loss.

The Commack sophomore arrived at the girls tennis state championship in Schenectady the weekend of Oct. 30 determined to avenge her 3-set loss in the Suffolk singles championship to Longwood's Victoria Matos the week before.

A rematch with Matos awaited Tannenbaum in the state quarterfinal.

"I saw a shift in mental toughness from her when she lost in the county final to Victoria Matos with two match points," Commack coach Jackie Clark said. "It lit a fire under her, and she drew confidence despite the loss."

Tannenbaum carried that confidence with her throughout the tournament.

She came back from a set down in one match, defeated Matos in the quarterfinals and won a Long Island showdown with Nassau champion Isabella Sha of Friends Academy before defeating Larisa Kotok of Marion Central School, 6-4, 6-0, to win the first title in Commack history.

"She took care of business," Clark said. "She kept her head together and played very aggressively."

Tannenbaum was able to keep her composure after dropping the first set in the second round against Victoria McEnroe of Bronxville, the daughter of Patrick McEnroe.

From there she didn’t drop another set and only lost six total games in the semifinal and final.

"She has had such a phenomenal season, and I’ve seen her grow since starting in seventh grade," Clark said. "She’s always out there smiling and having fun. It was amazing."

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