The Huntington girls’ tennis team squared off against many of Suffolk’s best team and proved to be a worthy adversary, advancing to the county playoffs and compiling a winning record of 8-7.
Coached by Jamie Fishlow and captained by Caitlyn Palermo, Lexi Helburn and Isyss Jones, the Blue Devils finished third in the league standings and ninth in the county.
“We won a lot of tight matches,” Fishlow said. “We were 5-1 in 4-3 matches that all came down to the wire. Most significant was out last match of the regular season where we defeated Harborfields, 4-3, which put us in sole possession of third place.
Eight Blue Devils captured post-season honors. Palermo, Anna Bell Young, Regan Sansiviero and Alyson Baker were All-Division. Jones, Helburn, Tallulah Pitti and Nina Drakulich garnered All-League recognition.
The team included eighth first year varsity players. The majority of the starting lineup will be returning, including Pitti, Drakulich, Young, Sansiviero, Baker and Katie Balm along with top JV players McKenna Buffa and Daniela Luca.
“It was a very, very hardworking group,” said Fishlow about the 2019 Blue Devil squad. “They was close-knit team that dedicated themselves to each other every day in practice and in matches. They were very focused on improving their individual skills.”
Helburn went 10-5 in No. 3 singles to lead Huntington in wins. “Lexi had an outstanding year,” Fishlow said. “She worked very hard and the record shows it.”
Pitti was 8-7 in No. 2 singles. “Tallulah is a young player will all the strokes,” Fishlow said. “She is working on becoming even more competitive in a very strong division.”
Drakulich went 8-6 in No. 4 singles. “Nina is very athletic with a lot of untapped potential,” Fishlow said.
Palermo and Young were a great team in No. 1 doubles. “Caitlyn was the heart and soul of the team,” Fishlow said. “She’s a great leader.”
Sansiviero and Baker went 7-7 in No. 2 doubles and Balm and Lily O’Heir were 7-7 in No. 3 doubles.
“Anna Bell, Kate, Regan and Aly are all young players who played a significant role in this season’s success,” Fishlow said.
Jones had the unenviable job of playing No. 1 singles, which required her to face-off against the best player on every opposing team. The senior kept her head held high and played hard in every match.
Looking ahead to next fall, Fishlow sees good times coming.