The Patriots dominated the regular season with a 10-0 record, winning their division and advancing to the second round of the playoffs against Brooklyn Technical.
“I’m happy with how the girls performed throughout the year,” Coach Zweigbaum said. “They’ve made a terrific commitment to investing time in the program.”
In their first game of the season, the Patriots won a tight match against Townsend Harris with a final score of 3-2 at Cunningham Park.
“Our first singles match was close, but we lost,” said junior Alleyah Ally. “I played second singles and won. Our first doubles didn’t win, so it was down to our second doubles.” Seohee Lee and Sumintra Siengsutthiwong won the second doubles match 10-6, giving the team the overall victory.
Last season, the Patriots lost both of their matches against Benjamin N. Cardozo High School, who won the division with a 9-1 record. The girls redeemed themselves this season, beating Cardozo 4-1 in both matches. First doubles partners Gabriella NG and Katelyn Chau won both of their matches in close contests, winning the first 11-9 and the second 10-8. Cardozo finished the season in 3rd place with a 6-4 record.
Throughout the season Coach Zweigbaum has implemented a very effective and consistent practice schedule for the team.
“We always start with jogging and stretching to loosen up,” Zweigbaum said. “Then we go into our first drill, ‘mini-tennis,’ to work on hand-eye coordination just to warm up the body before we gradually move back to the base-line and incorporate different drills, which involve ground strokes, volleying, serving, and other aspects of the game.
After beating McKee/Staten Island Tech 3-2 in the first round of the playoffs on October 20, the Patriots faced a very competitive and talented Brooklyn Technical, who proved to be too good against Francis Lewis, beating them 5-0.
“Brooklyn Tech has earned, for good reason, the #1 seed in the PSAL playoffs,” Coach Zweigbaum said. “They have many terrific USDA players, so our attitude is, we’re going to go out and give our best effort. Different opponents present different types of problems, and different challenges.”
The Patriots improved tremendously this year as the girls finished in 3rd place with a 6-4 record last season, losing against James Madison in the first round of the playoffs. Coach Zweigbaum attributes the improvement to the facilities available here at school as well as the commitment of the players.
“I think we’re fortunate in that we have good conditions here at the school, which allows a lot of opportunity for many girls,” Coach Zweigbaum said. [It] also gives us enough practice time, where we reap the rewards from the time the girls invest to practice.
“Several of them also go outside of school to receive lessons and additional practice. I think the more time you can invest in any task, the more you will achieve, and I think their hard work has paid off. The proof is how well they’ve done throughout the year.”
When asked about next year, Coach Zweigbaum is optimistic.
“Our goal is to always reach our potential. I think different teams have different levels of potential. Unfortunately, people always measure success with wins and losses, but in my mind, that’s not always the best evidence of whether you’ve had a successful year.”