Girls tennis rises to the top of Long Island this season


Kyle Wong

Senior captain Brittany Polevikov swings during practice before a match against Jericho on Oct. 8.

When thinking about successful school sports, the girls varsity tennis team should definitely come to mind, as they boast an extraordinary team and record.  The team is described as “vigorous,” “engaging,” “competitive,” and “fun” by its players, and was also the best team on Long Island last year.  They have also continued their remarkable success throughout this past season.  

Beating top teams such as Syosset and Roslyn, the girls are becoming a force not to be reckoned with.  With their record-breaking history, they continue to work hard in order to maintain their reputation.

The key to any team’s success is its players, and the squad has nothing less than a star-studded team.  It is made up of 16 players, each athletic and talented in their own way.  

One unique element of this group is the varying ages of the players. As expected, the team is made up of mostly Schreiber students, but also includes two Weber talents, namely seventh grader Andrea Martinez and eighth grader Thea Rabman.

Martinez plays second singles and is extremely dedicated to the sport.  She is known for always impressing on the court and had a necessary win at second singles, shortly after a tough loss to Syosset.

Rabman has also made a name for herself because she is a second-year player on the team, starting on varsity when she was only in seventh grade.  She plays first singles and finished up the Viking’s perfect regular season in a 4-3 win at Syosset.  

Rabman is also ranked all state, which is an outstanding accomplishment for any player at her age.  Both these girls are a huge asset to the team because they ensure solid and reliable team members for many more years.

While the Weber players do provide a great source of talent for the team, it is impossible to forget some key Schreiber players.  Senior Brittany Polevikov and junior Charlotte Forman are known for their phenomenal accomplishments.  The two athletes play first doubles together and are most definitely a force not to be reckoned with. The pair is undefeated and also all state.  

Another power duo on the team is junior Casey Fanous and sophomore Samantha Radinsky.  The two play third doubles and have lost only one match the entire season.

When approached about the importance of goals this season, Radinsky had a lot to say about both her objectives and the objectives of her team.

“My personal goals were to play my hardest every match and always have high energy while playing,” said Radinsky.  “I think the team’s goal was to be the dominant team they were last year and ultimately to have fun while playing. I feel that we accomplished that goal by completing the regular season undefeated and having a great time.”

Junior Kelsey Sy and senior Dylan Sivin are also recognized for their capabilities in second doubles, only having lost one match over the entire season.  Sivin is one of the three seniors on the team and has been playing for three years now. 

“Throughout my years on the team, I’ve become a stronger doubles player and learned how to become a fierce competitor,” said Sivin.

Sivin not only loves the sport, but also loves the team. Being on the team three years has allowed her to see the squad evolve into the molded unit that they are today.

“Through the years, our team has increased in depth and level of playing.  We also started a long streak last year which created more excitement before and determination during the match, said Sivin.

Another senior on the team is Carly Hecht.  As a very strong player, Hecht plays fourth doubles alongside junior Kayla Hill.

“I’ve been on the team for two seasons. I feel that I’ve gotten better at tennis throughout my years on the team. I think playing competitively against girls from my own team and other teams made me a stronger player. Plus, I was practicing with the best team on Long Island,” said Hecht.  “The tennis team is my family that has gone through many ups and downs together, and worked collaboratively throughout the season.”

This strong team dynamic definitely played a major role in the team’s success. Without this love and “family” atmosphere, the team might not have been able to come together and succeed the way they did.  Hecht also believes that the caring environment allowed to her become present for the team’s strongest years, considering they had a 32 game winning streak.

For those who don’t have a complete understanding of the sport, tennis is a game that can either be played with one opponent against another competitor, or two teams of two facing off against each other.  For the Long Island teams, there are three singles players and four doubles teams.  

The doubles teams are broken down by level, from first doubles to fourth doubles.  Every match the team plays is out of seven, based upon the wins and losses of every singles and doubles players.

This year’s team had a lot to live up to, following a record-breaking 2017 season.  Last year, the girls varsity squad only lost their first match.  

Quickly learning from their mistakes, the team bounced back and won 17 straight games after that first loss, accomplishing a remarkable feat recognized not only by the school but also by the U.S. Tennis Association.  The team was honored last year at the 28th Annual U.S. Tennis Association Long Island Region awards dinner, receiving the Team of the Year award. 

This prestigious award is given to the high school that demonstrates sportsmanship and a high level of playing, and is a perfect indicator of the sheer preservation and raw talent on this one-of-a-kind team.

Receiving this award definitely put the team on a pedestal, being seen as the team to beat for every other team in Nassau County.  Starting up again for the 2018 season in the highest division, Nassau Conference I, the girls had big expectations to live up to if they wanted to follow in the footsteps of the 2017 team.

To no surprise, the girls did not disappoint.  The team was unstoppable, picking right back up where they left off as they started their winning streak from the first match of the season, continuing off of last years 17 game streak.  The girls went 14-0 in their conference, triumphing over other top teams like Syosset and Roslyn.  

Securing a spot in playoffs, the girls won their first playoff match with a complete sweep against Jericho with 7-0.  Unfortunately, the girls were faced with a difficult match in the semifinals against Hewlett, and ended their season with a crushing 2-5 defeat.

The Nassau Conference I is the top division, filled with extremely talented teams, specifically the Schreiber girls.  One of the girls’ most difficult competitors would have to be Syosset, which had a record of 13-3 this past season.  However, Schreiber was able to prevail each time they played Syosset in order to maintain their winning streak.

A misunderstanding about the sport is the sheer competitive nature that is present in every match the girls play.  Every player on both teams shows aggressive competition that exemplifies the importance of the sport in the players’ lives.

Tennis requires extreme stamina and focus, forcing every player to be in great shape. Aside from the challenging physical aspects of the game, all players also need to be mentally ready at all times.  To say the least, the Schreiber girls have manage to maintain a high mental and physical level during all of their games for their past to seasons, and win 32 matches in a row while doing so. 

While the season might not have ended the way the girls had hoped or expected, their season was still one for the books.  In their 16 matches of the season, the varsity squad managed to put up a staggering 83 individual wins from both the singles and doubles teams.

While it is so disappointing to lose in the semifinals, that loss should not take away from the overall success of the season itself.  The unfortunate semifinals loss was the only loss the team faced all season, allowing the girls to only have two losses during the past two years.

These numbers are outstanding and prove the remarkable talent that the team has to offer.  The 32 game winning streak is one that earned the girls much respect throughout all of the teams in Nassau County and throughout all conferences.  Even though they could not move further in the finals, the Schreiber girls still managed to have the best record in their entire conference, showing the skill and mastery the team possesses.

Even with the disappointment of the way this season ended, the girls have plenty to look forward to come following seasons.  Although the team will be losing three of their best players, Sivin, Polevikov, and Hecht, the team is in no way slowing down.

The two Weber players, Martinez and Rabamn, present just a glimpse of the future promise for the team.  These girls show the growth capable for the squad, presenting the team with so much talent from such a young age group.