For two days, the top girls high school players battled for the Suffolk County Championship in both singles and doubles, but in the end, it was the top seeds who fought on through to win their respective championships. In singles, the top seed was Senior Aimee Manfredo from Shoreham Wading River, a finalist a year ago. Aimee was looking to take the next step this year in her last opportunity and in the Suffolk County Finals this year, eighth grader Jackie Bukzin from Eastport-South Manor stood in her way. The two battled from the baseline throughout, but experience was too much for youth on this day, as the Senior Manfredo was able to defeat Bukzin in straight sets, 6-3, 6-2. Manfredo is off to Bradley next year to play tennis on a full scholarship.
Both Manfredo and Bukzin players train at Bethpage Park Tennis Center with coach Keith Kambourian who said, "Both are very hard workers. They are the type of girls you really root for as they have certainly earned their success. They have a real passion for the game. Their love for playing will enable them to continue to develop their games each year."
The top three finishers in the Suffolk County tournament all advance to the New York State High School Tournament in Latham, N.Y. in November. The three Suffolk County representatives in singles will be Manfredo, Bukzin and Ester Chikvashvilli of Half Hollow East (who lost to Bukzin 3-6, 4-6 in the semifinals) who won her consolation match to finish third.
In doubles, the top seeds were Alli Huber & Vanessa Scott of Half Hollow Hills East who cruised throughout the tournament, and in the finals, were able to capture the title in straight sets, 6-1, 6-3 defeating Floyd's Kelsey Henn & Lisa Linn. The victory gives Huber back to back Suffolk County Championships, as last year, she won Counties playing with the since-graduated Amanda Luper. While Huber graduates with back to back titles, Scott will return next year for her senior season.
Finishing in third place in the doubles draw was the team of Danah Han & Lauren Salzano of Half Hollow Hills West. They join the teams of Huber & Scott and Henn & Linn in heading up to States.
The top four finishers in both singles and doubles are named All-State selections.
The Suffolk County team playoffs continue this week. Hills East is the top seed. The winner in Suffolk will play Nassau Champion Port Washington in the Long Island Championship at the end of October.
Credit photo to Suzanne Bukzin
Eighth grader Jackie Bukzin (center) from Eastport/ South Manor Junior High in Manorville, N.Y. made history for her school by being the only tennis player that has made it to States and placing second in Counties. Pictured with Jackie (on the right) is Varsity Coach Sharon Klune and on the left, JV coach Susan Claudio