With a bit of controversy regarding the lineups, the 2011 Long Island High School Boys Tennis Championship came down to the first doubles match with the score tied at three matches apiece. After Cold Spring Harbor swept singles play, Half Hollow Hills East answered with three straight doubles victories. The match would be decided by either the team of Jensen Reiter & Alex Tropiano of Cold Spring Harbor or Zain Ali & Eric Bertuglia of Half Hollow Hills East. Before this moment had even arrived, Cold Spring Harbor jumped out to a quick three to zero advantage. Josh Levine of Cold Spring Harbor made quick work of Kyle Alper of Hills East, 6-0, 6-3. Conor Dauer also from Cold Spring Harbor followed at third singles with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Hills East’s Eric Teplitz. Eric Ambrosio was last to close out his singles match, defeating Brett Teplitz of Hills East, 6-3, 6-1.
Meanwhile on the opposite side of the fence, Hills East got themselves on the board thanks to a win at third doubles from Alex Ricciuti & Jeremy Schnapp, who defeated Cold Spring Harbor’s Rich Pisano & Tim Schneir, 6-0, 6-3. Second doubles Chris Hunter & Sam Goldberg of Hills East earned the team’s second point after defeating Cold Spring Harbor’s Conor Mullins & Jon Paris, 6-3, 6-3. Just a few minutes later, Alex Schnapp & Jeff Cherkin of Hills East clinched their fourth doubles match, defeating Alex Fontini & Bret Titcomb of Cold Spring Harbor, 6-3, 6-4. The match was leveled at three matches apiece with all eyes now on the first doubles match.
After winning the first set, Cold Spring Harbor found themselves down in the second set 3-2. However, with exquisite touch from Cold Spring Harbor’s Alex Tropiano at the net, Tropiano, along with Jensen Reiter, came right back and went on to break serve giving them a 4-3 edge. Reiter & Tropiano came out firing in the next game as they were able to hold quickly, extending their lead to 5-3 needing one more game for the championship. Two shaky service points from the team of Ali & Bertuglia put them in a 0-30 hole. Hills East’s Eric Bertuglia then came up with some spectacular placed serves to even the game. At 30-30, Hills East had the opportunity to close the point at net but Zain Ali let the ball go making it too much of a run for Bertuglia to get to. On match point, Bertuglia succumbed to the heat of the moment as he double faulted to give Reiter & Tropiano along with Cold Spring Harbor their fourth consecutive title.
“Alex [Tropiano] and I were undefeated all four years as a team," said Reither. "We always wanted to be the deciding match in the championship and we were given that opportunity today and we came through.”
The team of Reiter & Tropiano now split up as they head off to college where they’ll be attending Johns Hopkins and Georgetown University, respectively.
“It really hasn’t hit me yet, but it will," said Tropiano. "We’re savoring the moment right now.”
First singles and Nassau County 2011 Singles Champion Josh Levine was asked how he thinks next year will play out for Cold Spring Harbor. “Winning five in a row will be tougher next year with the loss of our important seniors. However, I still think that if we push each other, we can continue the streak.”
1. Josh Levine (CSH) defeated Kyle Alper (HE), 6-0, 6-3
2. Eric Ambrosio (CSH) defeated Brett Teplitz (HE), 6-3, 6-1
3. Conor Dauer (CSH) defeated Eric Teplitz (HE), 6-0, 6-0
1. Alex Tropiano & Jensen Reiter (CSH) defeated Zain Ali & Eric Bertuglia (HE), 6-4, 6-3
2. Chris Hunter & Sam Goldberg (HE) defeated Conor Mullins & Jon Paris (CSH), 6-3, 6-3
3. Alex Ricciuti & Jeremy Schnapp (HE) defeated Rich Pisano & Tim Schneir (CSH), 6-0, 6-3
4. Alex Schnapp & Jeff Churkin (HE) defeated Alex Fontini & Bret Titcomb (CSH), 6-3, 6-4
Credit all photos to Jenna Poczik
<p>David Drucker is an intern with Long Island Tennis Magazine and is a member of the Nichols College Men's Tennis team. </p>