Boys Tennis Falls Just Shy of League Pinnacle

Boys Tennis Falls Just Shy of League Pinnacle
Posted on 06/02/2019
Boys Tennis Falls Just Shy of League Pinnacle

The Flatbush Varsity Tennis Team fell two games shy of its second championship in three years, dropping the decisive 2nd Doubles match by the slimmest of margins in falling to the Heschel Heat 3-2 on Sunday night (6/2) in the finals of the 2019 MYHSAL Tennis Championships at the UN National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY.

 Boys Tennis takes 2nd Place

Head Coach Mike Gelber knew his Falcons would be facing their biggest challenge of the season in this match-up between undefeated teams. In fact, Flatbush had not dropped more than one set in any match all season long, including the semifinal 4-1 win over Ramaz. Heschel was also 8-0 entering the finals, but the Heat had been pushed to the max three times in the regular season before defeating North Shore 4-1 in the other semifinal match. But, Flatbush also knew they would have an uphill battle as the team was missing two key doubles players in Mark Shalam and Michael Chattah.

Going in, it was known that Heschel’s strength was in the singles area. Coach Gelber and his boys believed that if they could steal one if the singles matches, they might just be able to pull off the upset. The Heat’s prowess proved true at 1st and 3rd Singles. Moe Sutton had been outstanding for Flatbush at 1st Singles all season long, a great achievement for any freshman player. But he ran into a real buzz saw, and fell to his Heschel counterpart by a score of 10-3. Ikey Dweck fared only slightly better, dropping a 10-3 decision at 3rd Singles. 2nd Singles proved a much closer contest. And, it was here where Junior Michael Dayan delivered what the Falcons hoped would be the swing point, winning his set by a score of 10-7. It was now in the hands of the doubles teams.

The absence of Shalam and Chattah meant that not one but both of the doubles teams that usually represented Flatbush would have new partnerships. That is a great challenge anytime of the season. It is even more of a test in a championship contest. Nevertheless, it was clear that both the 1st Doubles team of Albert Chehebar & Sam Cohen and the 2nd Double team of Richard Cohen and Isaac Sutton came ready to play, and play they did! Both contests were back and forth affairs, and the team of Chehebar and Cohen outlasted their Heat opponents at 1st Doubles by a score of 10-7, evening the match at 2 sets apiece. It was now all about 2nd Doubles. Cohen & Sutton battled from the outset, but Heschel managed to gain a break. Cohen & Sutton responded to match pace with the Heat, but Heschel maintained the slim cushion. In the end, the Flatbush duo could not close the final gap, losing the set by a score of 10-8, ceding the championship to the team from Manhattan.

It was a tough defeat, but Coach Gelber could not be prouder of the effort put forth by his Falcons. “I was really impressed by the way our team played tonight,” shared Coach Gelber. “This was a very young team, and we really stepped up to meet the challenge head on. Moe Sutton was a real leader all season, and though it was Michael Dayan that brought home the only singles point, I love that he made a point of noting that this team doesn’t reach the finals without the play of Sutton all season long at 1st Singles. More significantly, the Heschel coach shared with me how much respect he has for the way our boys played, noting specifically that they were the nicest, most respectful players they faced all season long. That is truly the best takeaway from this match!”

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