The Wheatley Wildcats are the 2022 Long Island Small School Champions after defeating the Wildcats of Shoreham-Wading River 5-0 on Wednesday afternoon at Casamento Park in Bay Shore.
“The message to the team going in was that while we didn’t know much about our opponents, they were here for a reason. They’re a good team that got the job done this season,” said Wheatley head coach Herman Lim. “We went in with the mindset that we have to play our best in order to move forward, and I think everybody in the lineup embraced that and was able to play well.”
Kavin Shukla notched a 6-0, 3-6, 10-1 victory at first singles, while Aaron Raja won 6-2, 6-1 at second singles. Saje Menon was a 6-1, 6-1 victor at third singles.
In doubles play, Rahul Dawar & Ilan Klein won 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles, and Steven Jarrahy & Eli Mizhiritsky were 6-0, 7-5 winners at second doubles to help secure the Long Island championship for Wheatley.
“Being undefeated so far is amazing, I really can’t put it into words,” said Lim. “I have to keep reminding the guys that we’re due for one and we can’t let up against any team. We have to continue to work hard and let whatever happens happen.”
At 17-0, Wheatley will now head to the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) Team Championships at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows on Friday, June 10.
“I can’t tell you how loud it was on the bus coming home after Wednesday. It was crazy, and everybody was yelling different things, but all with the message of keeping our focus,” said Lim. “We have at least one more match to play, and we can’t look ahead to the finals. If someone on the team starts assuming something or is getting too far ahead, another teammate will remind him of the task at hand and what we are trying to accomplish. Our guys will be ready to go next week.”