Knights are finally courtly kings

Boys capture their first tennis crown in decades

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After compiling one of the best records in the city since the 2008-2009 season with no trophies to show for it, the John F. Kennedy boys’ tennis team won the PSAL championship on May 18. 

Kennedy decisively beat the formidable Eleanor Roosevelt Huskies from Manhattan 4 matches to 1, in the indoor courts at Flushing Meadows Park. The match had been rained out twice since its originally scheduled date on May 16 and was finally moved indoors as a precaution. 

Officials estimated that it had been 30 years since Kennedy cinched the boys’ tennis title.

“It is a pretty unbelievable feeling for me as a coach,” said coach Jason Loeb. “I’m just very proud of my team and a little relieved at the same time. 

We came so close the last two seasons and all but one of our players is graduating.”

Kennedy was undefeated this year and last, but even the most partial observers weren’t expecting such a lopsided victory in the title match. 

One of the most pleasant surprises, according to the coach, was the 2-1 triumph of Joseph Nuesi and Kedarry Ransome, Kennedy’s first doubles team; considered by many to be tops in the city. 

Kennedy’s second doubles team — Melvinn Mejia and Zikrullah Choudhury — also won their match 2-0.

After the Huskies narrowed the game to 2-1 with a win in the first singles match, Anvar Musayev, Kennedy’s second-ranked singles player, came to the court with the opportunity to clinch the city title for the Knights. 

Musayev, who had won a staggering 110 straight regular season matches, didn’t disappoint on the big stage, winning 6-1 and 6-0.   

“I was confident,” said Musayev, when asked if he was nervous before the match. “I was sure I would do whatever I could to finish off my job.”

Kennedy had already clinched the title, but Steven Wilson, the school’s top-seeded boys player, had not yet played his match. As expected, Wilson had his hands full with Leir Oren of the Huskies, but narrowly prevailed 7-6, 4-6, 10-8.

Though the Knights had already won the title, Wilson said he still had his team, rather than himself, foremost on his mind when striving for the win. 

“I was playing more for the team, that what was on my mind,” he said. “I wanted to make it 4-1. I didn’t want it to look as if we had barely won.”

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