2009-05-08 / Sports

Playoff Cinderella Lady Seahorses Shock Newcomers

By Elio Velez

Richard Chimienti (center) poses with his Far Rockaway/ FDA VI Lady Seahorses tennis team. Richard Chimienti (center) poses with his Far Rockaway/ FDA VI Lady Seahorses tennis team. The last two weeks for Far Rockaway/FDA VI girls' tennis coach Richard Chimienti has been a hectic, but welcome rollercoaster ride. On April 27, a 4-1 loss against Richmond Hill placed the Lady Seahorses in a tenuous position.

With a 2-5 record, Far Rockaway needed to win their last three games of the regular season to qualify for the PSAL C playoffs. Finding a way to inspire his troops, the Lady Seahorses won their final three games in three straight days. But the winning didn't stop there to Chimienti's delight.

Far Rockaway, the number 18 seed out of 20 playoff teams, has pulled together quite a Cinderella run. A second round victory over second seed Newcomers last Wednesday afternoon clinched a berth for the Lady Seahorses to make the quarterfinals.

"I got the girls to believe they can do it. They came together at the right time," Chimienti said.

Chimienti took over a team that hasn't made the playoffs in more than 5 years. He's watched the team build confidence after going through rough patches earlier in the season.

The first year coach was confident about his team's chances against Newcomers (11-1) while traveling an hour and half from their school to Elmhurst.

Chimienti felt confident his team was up to the challenge since they had faced tough competition in a division which produced four playoff teams.

Far Rockaway lost in the first and third singles competition. But the evened the match at 2-2 after doubles partners Lasheyi Carrington and bib Amin, along with the duo Lateisha Swinton and Latisha Maxwell evened the match at 2-2. It came down to Debbie Davidson and the Lady Seahorses second singles player defeated Ying Su, 10-8 to send Far Rockaway to the next round.

In a whirlwind set of events, its fitting Far Rockaway's matchup on Monday would be against Richmond Hill at Forest Park. They've split two games this season with the Lady Lions.

"I can't believe the last two weeks. They've played so well together. We feel we can do well," Chimienti said.

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