The West Hempstead tennis team had its best season of the decade this year.
Finishing the season 7-7, the varsity boys wrapped up their regular season on May 11 with a match against Levittown. It meant very little for the team's standing since they had already secured a fourth seed in the playoffs, but for the graduating players it was a time to reflect on their time spent as a Ram.
Four matches took place at the same time, filling the court. The three top singles were seniors Milan Macsimovic and Jonathan Feldman. and freshman Christopher Gabayan, and the top doubles team of senior Cody Zweier and junior Carl Abelido.
The matches were noticeably casual with the opponents keeping score in their heads and calling it out to remind each other
periodically. They conferred on calls across the court, and rarely disputed.
Feldman, Abelido and Zweier, gathered by the gate to the
court, after having all lost their matches. They talked and watched their other teammates, who were either still plugging away or just
beginning new matches.
Feldman had fell in two sets 6-4 and 6-0. Abelido and Zweier: 6-2 and 6-3.
“He was really good at the drop shot,” Feldman said, shrugging off the loss. “I would have liked to win but we had fun. We had some
They were joined by Mascimovic, who won his match in two
sets, 7-5 in a tie breaker and 7-2, which required him to maintain control
throughout rather than try to overpower his opponent.
“I was using a lot of technique to win. Playing the net a
lot gave me the advantage cause of my height," he said.
Together, their conversation moved to reflection on their
time on the team as Gabayan’s match raged on into a third tie breaking set on
the NW court.
Zweier, Feldman and Mascimovic had all been on the team for
four years. They all plan to continue with tennis in college, but on club teams
or in intramural competition.
“It’s bitter because we have to leave the team but sweet
because we have had a lot of good matches,” said Mascimovic. “And because we’re
playing with our closest friends.”
Gabayan ended up losing his match, dropping two close sets,
5-7 apiece, after taking the first 6-3. His father Glen, a tennis player
himself who had turned Gabayan on to the sport just a few weeks before the
season began, tried to console him. He congratulated him on a good
match was and hold him not to be so hard on himself.
“This guy is our big prospect,” Coach Charles Colangelo said,
speaking of Gabayano. “He’s going to be with us for a while.”
Earlier, Zweier and Feldman predicted that Gabayano could
compete next year for the first singles position. His main competition will be
Abelido who, as a junior, is ready to move up as a singles player and will be the
ranking veteran on the team.
Coach Colangelo reflected on the season, the highlights of which include a 7-7 record and a bracket in the conference playoffs.
“We’ve had a great bunch of kids," he said. "We’ve had a great season.
This is the first time we’ve finished this good in the 10 years that I’ve been