It had been a long time coming, but the Friends Academy Quakers Girls Tennis team finally got a win over the Great Neck South Rebels when it mattered the most. The Rebels had beaten the Quakers in both regular season matches but the third time was the charm for the Quakers who pulled off a spectacular 4-3 win in the Conference II-A Nassau County Championship at Wheatley High School on Tuesday afternoon.
How did Friends coach Brian Baxter feel about the win? "Relieved," said Baxter. "After a long season I am glad to get this win and particularly happy for our seniors who worked so hard this year fighting through a tough conference schedule and they get to go out with a win like this."
Baxter said the season consisted of matches that were pushed back because of inclement weather and a schedule that included a stretch of nine matches in 12 days. "After beating North Shore in the quarterfinals and traveling to Hewlett and winning the semis its like icing on the cake to come here and get this win over an undefeated and regular season champ Great Neck South team."
All of the Friends Academy singles players won their matches, but it was Friends Academy’s second singles player, Morgan Wilkins, who clinched the victory for her team. She faced a tough opponent in South's Marisa Menist, who she lost to twice in the regular season.
"I played her a lot smarter this time around," said the sophomore Wilkins, who could barely contain her smile after learning she was the deciding match. "I came to the net more, threw in a lot more drop shots and held serve throughout the match."
Wilkins won her match 6-4 6-2 and said she was extremely happy that she pulled it together for the seniors on the team.
In the other singles matches, senior, Julia Ciardullo defeated Mollie Blank 6-0, 6-1 at first singles and eighth grader, Calista Cha won in straight sets against Angela Chi 6-0, 6-1 at third singles.
In the doubles matches, Friends Academy’s first doubles, Devina Kedia & Marina Hilbert were victorious 6-1, 6-2 over Megha & Haarika Reddy.
Great Neck South wrapped up the remaining doubles matches with the second doubles team of Ashley Yu & Shannon Nassi defeating Gabby Bloom & Amanda Yaraghi 6-0, 6-2. In fourth doubles, Parker Spector & Amanda Zeitlin and beat Danielle Kahn & Jessie Friedman 7-6(7-3), 6-1 and the third doubles team of Lily Kimmel & Parker Spector won in a third set super tie-breaker over Sasha Levin & Elizabeth Quick.
"Despite the loss, we had a great season with a very deep team," said Great Neck South Coach Brad Krauz. "The girls had a lot of fun and we had a lot of high notes on the season such as our second doubles team going 16-0 and a rotating fourth doubles team that never lost."
Credit all photos to Gary Simeone
<p> Gary Simeone is writing intern/public relations associate for <em>Long Island Tennis Magazine</em>.</p>