Written by Tom Gould, Editorial@antonnews.com Wednesday, 30 October 2013 10:59
A year to remember is the only way to describe the tennis season the Oyster Bay Girls’ Varsity Tennis squad just completed.
After finishing undefeated, at 12-0 in their league, the girls defeated Plainedge, on Tuesday, to win the Conference and Division crowns. The match was a thriller, with ninth-grader Michelle Yu, and seventh-grader Juliet D’Aversa winning the deciding contest in a 4-3 win. The other three wins came from 10th-grader first singles Celeste Matute, second singles Courtney Kowalsky who is in the ninth grade, and the third doubles pair of senior Hannah Kulis and sophomore Paige Gunther.
What Matute and Kowalsky were able to accomplish this season was certainly as unprecedented as the team’s undefeated record. The two combined for 27 wins without a defeat, totally dominating the league. What made their performance even more remarkable was the fact that neither came close to even losing a set.
Even though all 17 girls on the team made the experience memorable, credit must be given to the other starters who helped made it all possible, including third singles player, seventh-grader Jessica Layne, the first doubles team of junior Josephine Pinnock and sophomore Adrianne Bifulco, the third doubles duo of senior Hannah Kulis and ninth-grader Paige Gunther, and the fourth doubles team of senior Katarina Bifulco and ninth-grader Ashley Hertlein.
The team’s four captains, Celeste Matute, Courtney Kowalsky, Josephine Pinnock, and Katarina Bifulco, contributed to making the season run smoothly.
Fred Sperber has been coaching the Girls’ Varsity Tennis Team at Oyster Bay High School for four years and has developed quite an impressive record leading up to this unprecedented year.
“When the season got under way, it was clear that I would have to rely on very young players if we were going to be competitive,” said Coach Sperber. “I got more than I asked for from those players, and even more so. Asking a seventh-grader to play third singles is rare since the position requires lots of poise normally expected from a much more experienced player. For the most part, Jessica Layne exceeded my expectations, especially considering she was playing behind two of the best singles players the school has probably ever had. That takes us to my second doubles pair of Michelle Yu and Juliet D’Aversa, the duo that ultimately would win the championship match for us. With scores of spectators watching, cheering every point, Michelle and Juliet demonstrated maturity way beyond their years. “
Since this year’s success will ultimately have Section XI move the team to a higher conference, the coach said, “I’m feeling very confident that we’ll remain highly competitive and truly motivated.”
He also mentioned the fact that Celeste Matute made All County, Division, and Conference while Courtney Kowalskly made All Division and Conference.
Saturday, 07 December 2013 00:00
There’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than with music, and critically acclaimed pianist Stan Wiest will be hosting a holiday sing-a-long at Locust Valley Library to help get everyone in the mood on Sunday, Dec. 8, from 2 to 4 p.m.
Wiest has been playing piano since he was 5 years old, and now, at age 69, has recorded his first CD; an album that has been so well-received, it is a top seller on Amazon.com. The talented pianist spent much of his early career traveling and says he played every supper club in Manhattan, while also working full time on a TV soap opera. To promote his album, his local circuit also includes a presentation at Forest Books in Glen Cove on Dec. 12.
About 30 years ago, Wiest stopped traveling to be with his wife and kids and has been running a music entertainment business in Fort Salonga. Now, with his new album, he’s back on the road, something he never expected to happen at this point in his life.
Friday, 06 December 2013 00:00
It was a cold night for the annual Menorah lighting at the Derby Hall Bandstand last Monday. The event, which is sponsored by the Oyster Bay Civic Association, was well attended though, with Oyster Bay Jewish Center’s Rabbi Marvin Demant leading the crowd in cheerful Chanukah songs.
“Every year we gather at the gazebo to celebrate the miracle of Chanukah,” said Rabbi Demant. “It is actually very special this year because Thanksgiving and Chanukah will overlap for the first time in almost 100 years.”
Thursday, 05 December 2013 00:00
With grit, determination and all-out teamwork, the Friends Academy Boys Varsity Soccer team completed their quest for a third state soccer championship, defeating a tough Lansing High School, 1-0, in the New York Class C State Championships.
Both teams kept the game at a tight 0-0, until 20 minutes into the second half, when a throw-in from senior Patrick Moodhe (Manhasset) connected with the head of senior Jon Nierenberg (Sands Point) for the game’s only goal.
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
Nicole Giannetti entered her third cross country state meet in her career with one goal in mind: to place in the top 20 and earn an all-state medal. After finishing 38th in 2011 and 26th in 2010, the goal was definitely within her reach.
“She was ranked 25th according to one website, so we knew it was going to be close,” said Coach Kevin Cotter. “After looking at some of the times of her competitors, I told her she could potentially finish in the top 10. If she fell short, at least she would still remain in the top 20 and earn that elusive medal.”