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Girls tennis players to watch in 2019

Rachel Arbitman, of Hewlett, competes in a NYSPHSAA

Rachel Arbitman, of Hewlett, competes in a NYSPHSAA girls tennis state championship tournament semifinal in Latham, N.Y., on Sunday, Oct.28, 2018. Arbitman advanced to Monday's final. Photo Credit: Tim Roske/Tim Roske

Rachel Arbitman, Hewlett, Jr.

Arbitman hasn’t lost a high school match since the 2017 state final. The defending state champion and two-time Newsday player of the year is looking to become the first back-to-back state champ since Ryann Cutillo of Kings Park in 2005 and 2006.

“You don’t see this type of player in high school,” Hewlett coach Abby Samlin said. “She just loves being a part of the team and is working and training hard.”

Amy Delman, Great Neck North, Sr.

Delman has a wealth of big match experience, already competing in two state tournaments and reaching the semifinals in 2017. Both of her state tournament appearances came after finishing third in the county tournament.

Gabriela Glickstein, Commack, Soph.

Glickstein was named a team captain as a sophomore, which is evidence of her leadership skills. She steps into the first singles role and will look to secure a spot in the state tournament after finishing fourth in Suffolk last season.

“Her work ethic is tremendous and she always has a positive attitude on the court,” Commack coach Jackie Clark said. “She’s an amazing leader and has always been up for playing top players. She’s the heart and soul of the team.”

Merri Kelly Hannity, Cold Spring Harbor, Sr.

Hannity finished second in the Nassau County tournament as an eighth grader and then won the County title as a freshman.

Rose Hayes, Westhampton, Soph.

The defending Suffolk champion is the favorite to repeat. She was Westhampton’s first county champ since 1998 and helped lead her team to an undefeated season and a Long Island championship.

“Rose has really been working on being more aggressive and attacking,” Westhampton coach John Czartoseki said. “Her velocity and power has improved as well, so she’s definitely hitting harder and her shots have great depth.”

Alexis Huber, Half Hollow Hills East, Sr.

Huber earned her second appearance at the state tournament last year when she won the Suffolk doubles championship with partner Lauren Cherkin. She moves into the first singles role for the Thunderbirds, who should once again contend for a team county title.

Nicolette Loeffler, Cold Spring Harbor, Fr.

Loeffler was part of a formidable doubles team last year with Maddie Richmond. The teammates finished second in the county doubles tournament and advanced to the second round of the state tournament. This year, along with  Merri Kelly Hannity, they form a strong one-two punch.


Andrea Martinez De Los Rios, Port Washington, Eighth grade

Martinez De Los Rios played varsity as a seventh grader last season and quickly established herself as one of Long Island’s top players. She made it to the second round of the county tournament before falling to her teammate Thea Rabman.

“While only an eighth grader Andrea is able to put tremendous pace on the ball and can easily overpower any girl in the county,” Port Washington coach Shane Helfner said. “She’s put a lot of work into her conditioning and exploding to the ball this offseason and comes into the season playing her highest level of tennis yet.”

Thea Rabman, Port Washington, Fr.

Rabman enters her third varsity season after finishing third in the county tournament last year. She’ll be playing first singles for a Port Washington squad that is a top contender for the Long Island championship. She’s coming off a win at the USTA Girls‘ 14 National hard court championship in Rome, Ga., in August.

“What I love most about her game is she has great finesse,” Port Washington coach Shane Helfner said. “She can change based on who she’s playing. She’s very smart and crafty and gaining more and more confidence in tournaments and training.”

Lauren Zola, South Side, Jr.

Zola and partner Julia Gentile won South Side’s first doubles county championship since 2010 last year. The pairing reached the quarterfinals at the state tournament. Zola returns this year as the Cyclone’s first singles player.

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