Reprising last season, girls tennis takes second in Nassau County

Eric Fishbin, Contributing Writer

History repeated itself as the second ranked girls tennis team (12-4) saw their season end at the hands of the top ranked Syosset Braves (16-0). On an overcast afternoon on Oct. 17, the Vikings fell by a score of five matches to two.  This was the Braves’ fourth straight County Championship and second straight finals victory over the Vikings.

From the outset of the match, Port knew they had to get strong performances from each of their players to defeat a team that had not lost a match in over two years.

“When Syosset beat us in the finals last year, it was their third straight County Championship,” said first singles player junior Lauren Livingston.  “Facing them again in the finals this year, we felt like we really had a chance to win because a lot of our players had been in the same situation before.  The chance to get a little revenge was also a pretty good incentive to win.”

Earlier in the season, Syosset dominated Port with scores of 5-2 and 7-0, and early on in this contest, the story looked to be the same, but Syosset’s second, third, and fourth doubles teams built a 3-0 lead.  Even with an early deficit, Port battled back as second singles player junior Ally Linder and third singles player junior Liz Kallenberg beat their opponents in tiebreakers, coming in at 13-11 and 11-9, respectively.

Port was unable to pull out the come-from-behind win as Syosset’s nationally ranked Vivian Chang beat first singles player junior Lauren Livingston in straight sets, 6-1 and 6-0, to clinch the match.  Even after the Vikings lost, the excitement continued as Schreiber parents and athletes alike cheered on the first doubles team, consisting of captains seniors Emma Brezel and Holly Hubsher.

“By the time we played our third set we already knew our team had lost,” said Brezel.  “We had a lot of reasons to keep on playing though.  We wanted to win because we are captains and we wanted to set a good example; we wanted to win because Syosset had beaten us so many times before, and we wanted to win because it was our last game together as a team and we wanted to make the most of it.

Brezel and Hubsher forced a close third set but were unable to win, losing 7-6.

All is not over for Port tennis.  On Nov. 4, Brezel and Livingston will partner up as a doubles team to participate in the state championships in Albany.  This will be the duo’s second run at the doubles crown.  After making it to the round of sixteens last year and losing to the second seed, both are hungry for more success.

“This is Emma’s last year so it’s the last year we get to play together as a team,” said Livingston.  “We have been training really hard for this moment and I know we want to make the most of this opportunity.”

To succeed, the girls will have to face the best-ranked doubles teams in the state, some of which have been playing together for years.  According to Brezel, their lack of experience as a team will not be a problem.

“Lauren and I have great chemistry as teammates,” said Brezel.  “Our lack of experience as doubles partners did not stop us last year, and will not stop us this year.”

Captains Brezel, Hubsher, and Chloe Klug will all graduate this year, but several juniors and underclassmen are ready to step up.  Freshman Emma Rosenberg, who played the majority of her time at fourth doubles with her sister, senior Amanda Rosenberg, will be an underclassman to watch.  Additionally, sophomore Sarah Seemen played as an alternate this season.

“I feel totally confident in trusting to juniors and sophomores to lead this team,” said Klug.  “They have all the talent they need to win.”