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Peruso-Tomaro doubles win clinches county tennis title for Westhampton

Westhampton's Rose Peruso and Juliet Tomaro hug after

Westhampton's Rose Peruso and Juliet Tomaro hug after winning a match during the Long Island girls tennis team final at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow on Thursday. Credit: George A. Faella

Falling behind early is not something that worries Westhampton's Rose Peruso and Juliet Tomaro.

The second doubles pair found themselves down a set again after dropping a tiebreak in the Suffolk girls tennis team championship Wednesday at Floyd.  

“Rose and I are kind of used to losing the first set,” Tomaro said. “We didn’t let it bother us and reset with a fresh start.”  

And as they’ve done many times, “too many to count,” according to Peruso, they rallied to win, 6-7 (3), 6-2, 6-3, and clinch the 4-3 win over top-seeded Commack.

The final set went back and forth with the Commack (15-1) team of Christine Kong and Valerie Slackman grabbing an early 2-1 lead before Westhampton took the next two games to go ahead 3-2. After splitting the next two games the Hurricanes won the final two as Peruso closed it out with an overhead smash at the net.

“Third sets are kind of our thing,” Peruso said. “You have to put the pressure aside and just play it point by point and be in the moment.”

No. 2 Westhampton (16-0) grabbed two points with singles wins. Rose Hayes defeated Emily Tannenbaum, 6-2, 6-2, in a rematch of last week’s individual final. Katelyn Stabile won 6-3, 6-0 over Emma Matz at fourth singles.

“I let them know right away this season that we had the potential to prove we were the best team in the county,” Westhampton coach John Czartosieski said. “They played their hearts out and I just hoped they would all play as well as they could and leave everything out on the court.”

Westhampton got its other point in the match from a 6-0, 6-4 first doubles win by Onalee Batcheller and Emma Bender over Kristen Chao and Victoria Pensiero.

Czartosieski knew the team had a chance to be special after a 6-1 non-league win over 2017 Suffolk champions Ward Melville in its first match of the season at the end of August.

“That was a good barometer for how the season was going to pan out,” he said.

Still it came down to the final points on a cold, blustery day to reach their goal.

“We’re not used to playing this far into October,” Peruso said. “The wind was definitely the worst it’s been all season and it was an adjustment we had to make. I think we got around it pretty well.”

Westhampton will play in the Long Island final Thursday against Syosset at Eisenhower Park.

“We’re so excited,” Peruso said. “The team has worked so hard all season and now we’re going to the Long Island championship.”

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