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Oyster Bay's Celeste Matute, Courtney Kowalsky win state doubles crown

Oyster Bay doubles team, Courtney Kowalsky (left), and

Oyster Bay doubles team, Courtney Kowalsky (left), and Celeste Matute (right rear) compete in the Nassau girls individual tennis championships on Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Credit: Richard T. Slattery

After a hard-fought weekend of doubles tennis at the highest high school level, the biggest statement out of the bracket was this: Nassau tennis is back.

And it's all thanks to Oyster Bay's Celeste Matute and Courtney Kowalsky who, as third seeds, defeated Suffern's top-seeded Sydney Kaplan and Courtney Ollis, 6-4, 6-4, to win the doubles championship yesterday at the state championships in Latham.

"It's amazing for Nassau girls tennis," coordinator Shai Fisher said. "We exceeded expectations. It proves Nassau girls tennis is as strong as it ever was and we're going to continue to get better."

It was the first Nassau state doubles championship since Garden City's Jacqueline and Kelsey Raynor won in 2008.

"It seemed like the whole place was pulling for them," Fisher said of the atmosphere. "You could hear the excitement in the crowd."

A major reason for the championship, Fisher said, was Matute and Kowalsky's ability to put away volleys.

"They don't give their opponents a second chance to get the ball back," Fisher said.

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