Syosset's Camhi wins singles title
As the best player on the best team in Nassau County, senior Hannah Camhi's singles title at the Nassau Girls Tennis Individual Championships came as no surprise. Camhi, from two-time defending Long Island champion Syosset, defeated Garden City eighth-grader Morgan Herrmann, 6-0, 6-0, in the final match Sunday at Eisenhower Park.
Great Neck South's Nicole Torres defeated Oceanside's Paulina Tafler, 6-4, 6-2, in the third-place match. Camhi, Herrmann and Torres qualified for the state championships, held on Nov. 4, as the top three singles players in Nassau County.
"It's exciting to finally have this title my senior year," Camhi said. "It's good to get this before I [graduate]."
Hewlett juniors Gabriella Leon and Veronika Pakin claimed the doubles crown, clinching the final match, 6-1, 6-0, over Port Washington's Lauren Livingston and Emma Brezel. Leon and Pakin won 12 straight games in the match after falling behind 0-1 in the opening set. Garden City's Brittany Burke and Marisa Cameron finished third, and will join the Hewlett and Port Washington duos at the state championships.
"This is unreal," Leon said. "We didn't have these high expectations coming in and we just played our best tennis."
For Camhi, the win over Herrmann marks her first individual county crown in four tries. She was the runner-up as a junior and finished third as a sophomore and freshman, but this year Camhi said she felt stronger and had a better approach.
"I was more relaxed this year," she said. "I have more power and spin in my game which I thought helped a lot, and it shows my improvement and dedication."
Camhi, who will play for Brown University next fall, dominated Herrmann in the first set, putting forth a balanced attack at the net and along the baseline. In the second set, Herrmann threatened to break serve with Camhi ahead 2-0, but after fighting off three break points and five deuces, Camhi pulled through when Herrmann fired a forehand into the net. Camhi had to battle the rest of the way but won the remaining games to close out the match.
"I felt like today I was hitting my forehand really well and I was moving my opponent around the court and setting myself up to finish some easy points," Camhi said.
"[Herrmann] stays really calm during the match and she doesn't play to the score so I had to stay relaxed and consistent."
Camhi hopes to improve upon her previous success at the state championships. Two years ago, after finishing third in Nassau, she finished third at the state championships. Last year she was the runner-up in Nassau, and was a runner-up at the state championships. This year she wants that progression to continue.