The Hunter Hawks have won the PSAL “A” Division Championship after battling and defeating not only the brutally hot weather conditions, but a tough Bronx Science Wolverines team.
The intense heat in Queens was undoubtedly on the minds of both teams, with temperatures reaching 94 degrees at certain points throughout the match.
“I think they managed it well,” said Hunter coach Cheng Mannix. “They knew to keep hydrated and they knew everything that was at stake, so they just fought right through it, and in the end it may have come down to who handled it better.”
The team’s championship win was clinched by third singles player, sophomore Nikita Staniloae, who sealed the Hawk’s title with a 7-5, 6-3 victory.
Staniloae was thrilled to be the one to seal Hunter’s first-ever championship victory:
“It was really exciting. I kind of did feel a lot of pressure toward the end there, but I was able to pull out the win in the end.”
The sophomore echoed his coach's sentiment regarding the incredible heat the players dealt with, stating:
“In the beginning I was really nervous that I wasn’t going to be able to play my best tennis because of the heat, but I just concentrated on the game and it worked out.”
Hunter’s two doubles teams both came up big for the team, as David Pomerantz and Rahul Vasudev secured a first doubles victory for the Hawks, while the team of Jeffrey Tsai and Weston White also contributed what would be a key doubles win in Hunter’s eventual victory.
Coach Mannix was thrilled with every part of his team's performance, as for the first time ever, the Hunter Hawks stood as champions.
“They were amazing out there, every single one of them, like they have been all season. They just really believed, went out there and did it today.”
Frank Cannistra is a Contributing Writer for New York Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.