It’s a three-peat!
The Fort Hamilton Tigers reigned supreme in NYC’s PSAL “B” Division for a third straight season, defeating Bard 4-1 in the city finals at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
“I am so proud of these girls for the way they came together before the season and knew what was expected from them,” said Fort Hamilton head coach Nagi Muad. “They all played and motivated each other every single game. They became a family, and it was amazing to watch them compete and win their third straight city championship.”
Family is something that Muad and the Fort Hamilton program take a lot of pride in, and is a key factor in the team continuing to produce season-after-season.
After winning back-to-back city titles, the Tigers had to reload their roster after losing the top three singles players from last season, which required new players to step into those leadership roles this season.
And that is precisely what happened. Leading the way was Isabella Tchij, a sophomore who won her first singles match 6-3, 6-2 in the finals against Bard, while senior Julia Aksamentova won 7-6, 6-2 at third singles. To round out the singles flights, junior Beatrice Tagliafierro was a 6-1, 6-4 winner at third singles.
“Isabella and Julia were doubles players last year, and Beatrice was a substitute,” said Muad. “All three girls practiced all year and it improved their performance on the courts astoundingly. Julia was our team captain who held the team together from the start of the season through the championship. My doubles players Janice Li, Nicole Yan, Madeline Mayes and Mari Gvelesiana also played a key role in our championship run; it was a full team effort.”
Mayes & Gvelesiani would win 6-0, 6-4 at second doubles in the finals for Fort Hamilton, while Laura-Albane Peyronnet & Matilda Gannon-Sias won 6-2, 7-5 at first doubles to secure the lone point for Bard.
Fort Hamilton will look to win its fourth consecutive city championship next fall, and will once again rely on the pillars of its program in order to do so.
“Our program and recent success have always revolved around hard work, sacrifice and love for the game,” said Muad. “We’re excited to come back next season and try to do it again.”
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for New York Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org