Boys tennis has dominant transition season but falls in semifinals

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Sophomore George Kaslow hits a forehand against the Plainview JFK Hawks on May 11 in the first round of the playoffs. The Vikings won the match 6-1 and moved on to the semifinals against Syosset.

Kevin Hazan and Andrew Kerr

The boys tennis team wrapped up its 2015 season with a regular season record of 10-2.

On paper, the team did not seem as though it had much potential coming into the season, but they surprised many and finished 10-2, matching the record from last season.

The three singles players were all sophomores, making the team the youngest in its league.

Senior captain Sam Reisman was proud of the record the team achieved, and was able to rally the team during matches to keep spirits high.

“Before every match I gather the entire team on the court.  Regardless of the opponent, easy or hard match, I make sure the entire team is on the courts gathered with their arms around each other.  I won’t start speaking until everyone is there,” said Reisman.

The team knew they could not take any opponent lightly if they wanted to win.  Since the beginning of the season, the team knew that it was the underdog in the conference, and all the other teams believed that they could stomp over the Vikings for an easy win.

To ensure that everyone remained positive, Reisman constantly encouraged the players, and also gave tips to make sure that the team would leave the match knowing they did the best they could.

“I stress the importance of cheering everyone on.  We’ve had situations this year where we’ve been really far down, and I gather everyone to cheer the player on, and we make a comeback,” said Reisman.

The Egna twins, sophomores Max and Austin, were the second and third starting singles for the team.

Although they are underclassmen, the twins brought a young competitive spirit and serious game to the courts.

The two  love to play on the same team, as they have played together their whole lives. The Egna twins played a very important role on the team this year, helping bring it to success.

“It’s awesome to have my brother as a teammate.  We are so comfortable around each other and we support one another.  We always cheer each other on, which motivates and builds up our confidence,” said Max Egna.

Having someone as close as a twin really helped the brothers perform well, because if one of them was discouraged, the other could give advice only a brother could. Especially because they were the second and third singles players, they had a lot of weight on their shoulders the entire season. Having one another helped them relieve this stress.

Other notable players include first singles player sophomore George Kaslow, first doubles senior Yuki Yoshinaga and sophomore Tim Serignese, and third doubles freshmen Justin Suzzan and Dylan Spilko.  Each of these players were consistent throughout the season and won the majority of their matches.  The team went on a six game win streak to end the regular season.

“We stuck to our game plan of playing smart and consistent tennis.  This strategy allowed us to advance with momentum into the playoffs,” said Egna.

This win streak proved that Port tennis is serious competitor, showing the conference that although the team is young, it is still capable of beating anyone.

Making it to the playoffs was something nobody thought they could do.  Excited for the playoffs, the team had to stick to a game plan; do not treat these games any differently than any regular season game they had played.

The Vikings defeated Plainview in the first round of the playoffs on May 11, with a score of 6-1.  This was the third time the Vikings beat Plainview, each time adding a victory.  Advancing to the conference semifinals, they faced Syosset.  The Vikings lost the match 7-0.

Finishing his high school career, Reisman has high expectations for the following year’s team.  This year, the Vikings’ only losses came to the 12-0 Cold Spring Harbor team.

Defeating everyone else in their conference, Cold Spring Harbor is the next team to beat for the Vikings, and Reisman thinks it can be done soon.

“We have the youngest team in the league, and we still went 10-2.  I expect the team to finally accomplish what we haven’t been able to do in my entire high school career and beat Cold Spring Harbor.  I expect a 12-0 record next year.  In two years from now we will be considered one, if not the best team in the state.  We can only get better from here.  Our potential is off the charts,” said Reisman.