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Tennis Earns Split Decisions for Boys & Girls

Tennis Earns Split Decisions for Boys & Girls
Posted on 04/03/2019
Tennis Earns Split Decisions for Boys & Girls

The Flatbush Varsity Boys and Varsity Girls Tennis Teams played a dual match Wednesday night (4/3) against North Shore, and the boys came away with their second consecutive win of the season by a score of 4-1 while the girls fell in a tiebreaker in the deciding set to lose by a score of 3-2 at Alley Pond Tennis Center in Queens, NY.

Boys Tennis Team Girls Tennis Team

The teams took over nearly the entire facility in Queens with the two matches taking space on ten of the eleven courts in the Alley Pond bubble. And after varying spans of warm-up, competition was underway! For both the girls and the boys, the end result would go down to the final three sets of play.

 girls get ready Boys get ready

For the boys, both 1st and 2nd Doubles jumped out to early leads. In short time, the 1st Doubles team of Sam Cohen & Albert Chehebar would secure the first point for the Falcons with a 10-4 decision. The 2nd Doubles team would take longer to come to a conclusion.

 Cohen & Chehebar

Meanwhile, the three singles sets were also underway, with Michael Dayan falling behind at 2nd Singles while Ikey Dweck built a lead at 3rd Singles. At 1st Singles, Moe Sutton and his counterpart were engaged in a set that would involve elongated rallies, in which the boys exchanged wins early on as Sutton took a slight lead at 5 games to 3. Dayan battled hard from behind, closing the gap down the stretch, but ultimately ceding the first point to North Shore by a score of 10-7 at 2nd Singles. At the same time, Dweck pulled ahead, building an insurmountable lead on the way to a 10-4 win at 3rd Singles. Flatbush would need one more point to secure the win, but the remaining two matches were too close to call.

 Ikey Tawil Serves Michael Dayan returns service

The epic rallies continued at 1st Singles, while Mark Shalam and Teddy Gindi had built a two-game cushion, which the pair maintained, giving a game than taking it back until they were on the verge of closing out the set, up 9-7. North Shore was serving to stay in the set, and held a 40-15 lead in the game. Shalam & Gindi came all the way back to earn set point. But, the Starts duo staved it off, eventually taking the game. Now Shalam was serving for the set at 9-8. He looked to have taken the first point of the game when the return of his serve had sailed clearly way beyond the end line. However, the ball struck Shalam, and by strict interpretation of the rule, even though the ball was clearly out, the point was awarded to North Shore. The Stars went on to break Shalam’s serve, tie the set and force a tie break.

 Gindi & Shalam

At the same time, the 1st Singles set had come to a close, with Sutton having taken complete control, winning every game the rest of the way for a 10-3 win earning the decisive third point.

 Moe Sutton hits a winner

But, the doubles team did not know this, playing a game that they believed held the match in the balance. Their set was now in a tie-break, and in getting there the momentum had swung towards the Stars. And, the Stars had the first serve. Flatbush broke to score the first point, but split their serves for a 2-1 lead as the serve went back to North Shore. Like the set itself, the tie-break went back and forth, with the Stars eventually moving ahead 5-4. Shalam and Gindi showed resolve, though, taking the next three straight points to secure the win, and a 4-1 Flatbush victory.

 Shalam & Gindi

The girls match got underway concurrently, but the Falcons jumped out to the early 1-0 lead when the pairing of Simone Dweck and Lynn Franco won at 2nd Doubles in a walkover (North Shore only brought one player to play a doubles match).

 Dweck & Franco

However, Head Coach Mike Gelber knew it would be a major challenge to bring home the additional two points needed to secure a win with the team stretched thin in the absence of two of their regular starting seven in Sarah Mizrachi and Kayla Motovich, forcing a change at 3rd Singles and 1st Doubles. Stephanie Tarrab, who normally partners with Motovich at 1st Doubles, stepped up to take Mizrachi’s spot at 3rd Singles and did so marvelously. Tarrab played a solid, consistent brand of tennis, steadily returning the ball and forcing her Stars opponent to keep pace. It was a good strategy, and Tarrab handily took care of her opponent to bring home a second point for Flatbush with a 10-3 win at 3rd Singles.

 Stephanie Tarrab warms up Tarrab serves a winner

The match did not go as well for Flatbush’s players at 1st Singles and 1st Doubles. Esther E Benjamin was faced with a talented (though highly irritating – more on that later) opponent at 1st Singles, and fell at that slot by a score of 10-3.

 Esther E Benjamin serves

The Flatbush pairing of Perla Berkovitz and Barbara Dayan, originally slated for 2nd Doubles, were asked to step up to 1st Doubles. They gave a valiant effort, but they also fell by a score of 10-3. That left the match all even, with the deciding point to come from the set at 2nd Singles.

 Bercovitz & Dayan with Coach Gelber Berkovitz & Dayan

Flatbush had Esther F Benjamin representing at 2nd Singles, and she soon fell behind by a large margin, trailing her North Shore counterpart by a score of 7-3. But Benjamin is a fighter, and she was not ready to concede defeat. She battled back, pulling even, and then taking the lead at 9-8. Meanwhile, the 1st Singles set had come to an end and the players had gathered near court 8 to watch the decisive set.

 Esther F Benjamin warms up

At this point, the Stars player – having won at 1st Singles – began an accusatory tirade against Benjamin and the Flatbush squad, carrying on in an excessively loud voice that the team was cheating by making bad calls to gain an advantage. It went on and on and on. When the Stars coach finally came over to try to quiet the player down, she lowered her tone, but not her content, continuing her unsportsmanlike behavior. Benjamin tried to refocus and stay in the set, but it was clearly taking a toll on her. North Shore tied the match at 9-9, forcing a tie break. That, too, went down to the wire, with North Shore eventually outlasting Benjamin for a 7-5 win in the game, and a 3-2 win in the match overall. It was a difficult was to finish, but it was a great effort by the Falcons just to come back from such a great deficit while having to battle not just the opponent on the court, but the ones off it as well.

Esther F Benjamin returns the ball

It was a most competitive night of Yeshiva League tennis, and in the words of Michael Dayan, it was “intense!”

NEST NOTES: The Varsity Girls will look to get in the win column when they play their second match of the season on Sunday night, April 7, when they take on Magen David Yeshivah at MatchPoint NYC’s Shell Road facility. Match time is set for 8:00 pm.

The Varsity Boys will take on Magen David Yeshivah two nights later, Tuesday, April 9, when they look to make it three in a row to start the season. That match will be played at MatchPoint NYC’s Mill Basin facility with a start time of 9:00 pm.

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