In 2011, the Girls High School Tennis Season ended on a sour note as Syosset High School defeated Half Hollow Hills East for the Long Island Championship via a coaches forfeit by HHHE over a lineup dispute. While this was deeply concerning on many levels, it shouldn't overshadow what was one of the best seasons on-court by Long Island high school girls in recent memory.
The 2011 New York State Finals featured two Long Island girls (Hannah Camhi of Syosset and Morgan Herrmann of Garden City), and Syosset High School won their third consecutive Long Island Championship.
This season, Syosset will have to move on without State Champion and first singles player Hannah Camhi, but Syosset still returns a strong lineup looking to win their fourth consecutive High School Championship. They will be challenged this year by Port Washington, Roslyn and Manhasset amongst others. In Suffolk, Half Hollow Hills East is the defending Champion, but will be without top player Ludmilla Yamus who has graduated. They will be challenged by rival Half Hollow Hills West and Northport, who finished last season 9-1 and 10-0 respectively during the regular season.
The Nassau County Girls High School Championship Tournament will be held Oct. 20-21 at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, N.Y., with the 2012 New York State Girls High School Championship set for Nov. 2-5 in Albany, N.Y.
Top returning players to watch
►Morgan Herrmann of Garden City (Freshman): Last year as an 8th grader, Herrmann was the runner-up at both the New York State and Nassau County Champiosnhips. With Camhi off to Brown, Herrmann will look to win both championships in her freshman year.
►Nicholle Torres of Great Neck South (Senior): In 2011, Torres won the Singles Consolation Draw at the New York State Tournament. With this being her senior season, she will look to go out with a bang.
►Zenat Roshizada of Half Hollow Hills West (Senior): In 2011, Roshizada lost to Nicole Daniggelis in the Suffolk County Singles Final. This year, she will try to finish her senior season with a County title and with Daniggelis having graduated, Roshizada may be the favorite.
►Bridget Harding of Northport (Junior): Last year, Bridget along with her sister Mickey won the Suffolk County Doubles Championship before losing in the New York State Quarterfinals. This year, while her sister has graduated, Bridget returns to Northport for her junior season, and another run at a state championship
►Brittany Burke of Garden City (Senior): Finished third in the Nassau Doubles Championship playing with Marissa Cameron who has since graduated. But Burke returns for her senior season and will play second singles behind Morgan Hermann.
►Paulina Tafler of Oceanside (Sophomore): Finished fourth in Nassau County as a freshman but will only get better in her Sophomore season and is a threat for the Nassau Championship.
►Lauren Livingston (Junior) & Emma Brezel (Senior) of Port Washington: In 2011, the duo of Livingston & Brezel finished second in the Nassau County Doubles draw. This year, they both return looking to go one step further in 2012.
►Gabriella Leon (Senior) & Veronika Paikin (Senior) of Hewlett: They play first and second singles throughout the season and they teamed up to win the Nassau County Doubles Championship as juniors. This year, they return to Hewlett High School as seniors seeking a second consecutive title.