In a most rare occurrence, the Flatbush Varsity Girls Tennis Team had three of the five sets go to tiebreaks, with the SKA Lightning prevailing in two out of the three to take the match by a sscoer of 3-2 on Thursday night (5/10) at the Alley Pond Tennis Center in Queens, NY.
With a shortened roster on hand for the event, Head Coach Mike Gelber’s girls were in the hole before the match really even got underway, as the Falcons were forced to concede the first point at 2nd Doubles since there were not enough players to play that set. Flatbush was shortly down 2-0, as Lydia Cohen fell at 1st Singles. Cohen gave it everything she had, but could not equal the firepower of the Lightning’s top player who took the set by a score of 10-2.
That set the stage for one of the most exciting finishes to a regular season match in Flatbush Tennis history. Esther E. Benjamin was on court at 2nd Singles, Esther F. Benjamin was at 3rd Singles and the team of Carolyn Kassin & Stephanie Tarrab represented the Falcons at 1st Doubles. As the evening progressed, so did all three contests, with the parings all playing even-up tennis. As the skies began to darken, all three sets were nearing the requisite 10 games to earn the coveted team point. At the end of regulation, each set was deadlocked. Each would require a tie-break to determine a winner.
The first to be decided was 2nd Singles, where Esther E. Benjamin prevailed by a score of 7-2 in the tiebreak, for the 10-9 win. The other two sets continued to go back and forth, with both ending with the decision coming by the slimmest of margins – a 7-5 score in the tiebreak. The team of Kassin/Tarrab pulled out the win at 1st Doubles, evening the match at 2-2. But, Flatbush could not pull off the sweep of the tiebreakers, with Esther F. Benjamin falling just short. It was just enough for SKA to get the win in the set – and the match.
“In all my years coaching tennis, I cannot ever recall having a match need three tiebreaks to decide a winner,” reflected Coach Gelber afterwards. “It is a huge pressure situation, and I could not be prouder of how all our girls competed.”
NEST NOTES: The loss puts the pressure on the Flatbush Girls Tennis team, with the Falcons likely needing to win out to secure one of the two Eastern Division spots in the MYHSAL playoffs. The Girls will look to get back on the winning track on Thursday, May 17, when they travel to the US National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, NY for a Girls/Boys doubleheader with HAFTR. The girls will get underway at 6:00 pm, weather permitting.