Hudson Lee of Friends Academy pumps his fist after hitting...

Hudson Lee of Friends Academy pumps his fist after hitting a winner down the line during the Long Island small school boys tennis finals at Smithtown East on Tuesday, May 28, 2024. Credit: David Meisenholder

First doubles went to the Ross School, evening the match with Friends Academy. And now all eyes were focused on the third doubles court at Smithtown East, where the fate of Tuesday’s Long Island small school boys team tennis championship was being decided.

The Quakers had junior Henry Koelmel and seventh-grader Hudson Lee, a USTA tournament player in his first season with the varsity, competing in a third set that was even, too.

They both held up well under the intense heat of the moment, teaming to break the tie and take the final three games. Lee ended it with a winner at the net about 3 1/2 hours after the start.

Friends Academy owned the crown and a berth in the Division 2 state final four with a 3-2 victory, having beaten Suffolk champ Ross for the second straight year in this match.

“Repeating a Long Island championship and even a Nassau County championship last week was thrilling,” Quakers coach Owen Kassimir said. “… I think we had a shot this year, even with the large schools in the conference, to do damage.”

Friends Academy (8-9) fell in the 2023 Division 2 state final. The semis and final this time are set for June 7 at the National Tennis Center in Queens.

“I think we have a stronger team this year,” Koelmel said. “We have a little more depth, obviously. So we can make a very good run.”

Koelmel and Lee outlasted Teddy Brodlieb and Jagger Cohen, 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (3-7), 6-3.

“I guess it’s mainly thanks to our teammates,” Lee said. “They were cheering a lot for us.”

“It helped so much,” Koelmel said.

Suffolk singles champion Eduardo Menezes won, 6-0, 6-0, in first singles for Ross. Ved Rawat countered for Friends Academy with a 6-1, 6-0 victory in second singles.

The Quakers went ahead when Zack Cohen and Danny Duke prevailed in second doubles, 7-5, 6-3. But Leonardo Carmo and Henry Tietz claimed first doubles, 3-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-5, to tie it for Ross, which finished at 15-1.

“I think it was a great season,” Ravens coach Marcelo Reda said. “Last year, when we played them, we lost, 5-0. And this year, we had a little taste of the title and we let it slip on a 3-3 in a third set. But I think they came a long way and I’m proud of the development they made throughout the season.”


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