| By Brian Coleman

It had been nearly 25 years since the Manhasset Indians could call themselves Nassau County Champions in Girls Varsity Tennis. That all changed in late October, as Manhasset defeated Roslyn 5-2 for the Nassau County Championship at Wheatley High School.

Amanda Foo clinched the victory for the Indians with her 6-4, 6-3 win over Marissa Luchs at first singles.

“It is such an honor being a part of Manhasset history,” said Foo. “The team has had individual county champions before, but never a team championship. This year, it meant a lot to us.”

Manhasset entered 2014 as the defending Nassau County runner-ups, and were motivated to get back to the county title match after falling to Port Washington 4-3 in 2013.

“From the first day of practice, the team was so pumped,” said Foo. “We worked really hard every day and were determined to go all the way.”

The Indians lost seven seniors, including two singles players, from the 2013 team, but did not miss a beat. Foo, a junior, got a taste of first singles action last year as a sophomore before a tendinitis injury forced her to miss some time.

She came back from the injury this season and became the leader of her Manhasset team. The junior dominated play in Nassau this year, helping the Indians post a record of 15-1, with the lone loss coming to Port Washington early in the regular season.

“As a co-captain this season, her drive, ambition, enthusiasm and love of the game was apparent to her teammates,” said Manhasset Head Coach Eileen Cuneo of Foo. “She encouraged all to do their best and was a good role model. All of these traits made her an asset to the team and the overall tennis program at Manhasset.”

Foo credits a lot of her success to her training over the past year. She saw a fitness trainer in the offseason that helped her get over the tendinitis, and received some words of advice from one of her coaches.

“My private coach Ricky Becker told me that everyone’s a duck,” said Foo. “Basically what that means is that no matter what your opponent looks like or how they play, treat them all as the same duck and go into every match with the same passion.”

That attitude and mindset has allowed Foo not to get too high or low during matches, something she considers her strong point.

“The strongest part of my game is that I never give up, no matter what the score is,” said Foo. “My weakest part is that I can sometimes over think my strategy. But all I need to do then is just take a step back and relax.”

It becomes easier to relax when playing high school tennis as opposed to other tournaments, says Foo, as you have the support of your school and the community on your side.

“My classmates, teammates and all our parents come out and cheer for us during every match,” said Foo of the supportive Manhasset community. “In high school tennis, the team comes first and it doesn’t matter whether you’re playing first singles or fourth doubles, the team just needs to win four courts. The camaraderie and support is great!”

As a junior, Foo says she has not really thought hard about where she wants to continue her tennis career when high school is over, but knows that she wants to play tennis at the next level.

“I’m definitely looking for a college with the right balance of academics and a competitive tennis team,” said Foo. “I don’t know where I want to go yet, but I do know that I want to play tennis.”

Before she decides where she wants to play her college tennis, Foo is ready to help Manhasset defend its county title in 2015.

“We are only losing one senior starter and there are a lot of talented junior varsity players coming up,” said Foo. “I definitely think we can repeat again.”

Brian Coleman

Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at brianc@usptennis.com