Division Winning Dolphins Seek Visit to Flushing Meadows
This past winter, the PSAL restructured high school boys and girls' tennis into three separate leagues, believing there would be more competition spread throughout the city.
The move, which now creates three leagues, A, B and C, has benefited a lot of squads in the PSAL.
The move into the newly created PSAL C League benefited the Beach Channel boys Dolphins team. Finishing 10-2 in the regular season, the C1 division champions finds themselves in the hunt, starting on May 11, for an opportunity at winning a city championship.
"As we started winning, we got more confidence," said Beach Channel boys coach John Sullivan.
The Dolphins have done well in the restructured C League after going a dismal 3-9 last year. Sullivan has done well with recruiting, with 17 players listed on the roster compared to the seven players that finished the season in 2008.
Sullivan made two moves in the starting after the Dolphins lost their March 31 game to John Adams. He turned to freshmen Julian Morales, who moved from third singles to first and Ari Feldman, installed as the second singles player.
The move sparked a seven game winning streak to end the regular season. Sullivan looks at the April 21 match against John Adams as evidence of their turnaround.
With first singles Morales, and doubles partners Oluwayesi Joseph and Gedeon losing, Sullivan saw the confidence from his remaining players on the courts. Sharif Ellis, starting at third singles, secured a strong 10-1 win. Donnell Robinson, who was paired with Anthony Singh, told Sullivan his doubles team would win. With confidence abounding, the team would went on to win 10-6 and Beach Channel gained an overall 3-2 win.
"Donnell came over to me and told me we were going to win it. They were down, but they went on to win it," Sullivan said.
Sulivan has been pleased with the team's progression throughout the campaign. Beach Channel will enter seven players in this weekend's PSAL singles and doubles championships at the USTA Billie Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows
He also has hope that his Dolphins team can return to the tennis center on May 13.
Beach Channel got a bye in the first round as 13 teams qualified for the PSAL C playoffs. The Dolphins were ranked behind first place George Wingate and ahead of third-ranked Paul Robeson.
A victory on May 11, when the Dolphins host their second round playoff game, sets them up with a semifinal berth two days later.
"I would say it would be disappointing if we don't get there," Sullivan said.