Syosset won its second straight Long Island Championship on Monday afternoon, downing Suffolk County Champion Commack 7-0 at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow, culminating another incredible season for the program.
“We’re really excited,” said Syosset head coach Shai Fisher. “I’m super excited for this team. Just happy we were able to come out with the win in the end.
Commack is an excellent team, and just wanted to congratulate them on a great season. I’m really happy for the players on both teams that were able to compete in a Long Island Championship.”
Senior Daniel Pellerito got the scoring started for Syosset with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Sol Yoon at first singles.
“I was comfortable on both sides of the net today, especially with my serve,” said Pellerito. “I had a good amount of aces and felt I controlled the play very well.”
Eli Grossman bolstered the Syosset lead with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Jake Stadik at third singles, and the first doubles tandem of Preet Rajpal and Brian Gao brought the Braves closer to victory with a 6-4, 6-3 triumph against Alec Sydney and Ryan Schoenfeld.
The clinching match came from the third doubles team of Jeremy Levine and Peter Bukary, who notched a 6-1, 6-3 win over Gabe Chan and Zach Eisler.
“It starts from the first day of practice; I remember being in eighth grade the example the seniors set. This is a team that takes pride in its pedigree,” said Rajpal. “You represent the people who came before you and the ones who will come after….To go out the way we did is a story book ending. But it doesn’t stop there. There are players who are coming to come up and take my spot, and make sure they continue the Syosset tradition.”
Seniors like Rajpal and Grossman have been in the Syosset program for five years, and saw their roles transition from young talents to senior leaders, helping lay a set of expectations for the program that has been passed on to the current young players on the roster.
“I look back at how the seniors treated me, and I try to do that with the younger. It really is surreal when you become the older player the team looks up to,” said Grossman. “We are having a lot of starters graduate so next year will be interesting. But the team knows what we are about, and Syosset has the reputation of being the best team on Long Island.”
“It will be more challenging,” said Gao, one of the younger players who will be tasked with carrying on the Syosset tradition. “But if we keep playing with the confidence and discipline we have, we can win more titles.”
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.