Sometimes it’s the little guy who makes all the difference.
Or, in the case of Horace Greeley, the little guys.
The Quakers came from behind with wins by their No. 3 singles player and No. 4 doubles players Saturday to nip Mamaroneck 4-3 to capture the Section 1 3-4 tennis championship.
Earlier, Dobbs Ferry (now 16-1) crushed Conference I titlist North Salem 5-0 for the Section 1 3-2 championship.
The championship numbers represent the singles and doubles matches played.
Dobbs Ferry, playing home at Mercy College, was paced by Columbia-bound senior Shawn Hadavi and junior Mike Selin, who each increased their season records to 19-0. Neither has dropped a set this year.
While the Eagles’ championship proved a mismatch, it was a different story with Greeley (14-4), which beat Clarkstown North in the semis — and then Mamaroneck (14-2), which topped Arlington in the semis.
The Greeley-Mamaroneck championship matches began outdoors at White Plains High but, with rain, ended indoors at Elmsford’s Solaris Sports & Racquet Club.
When the teams moved over to Solaris, Mamaroneck held a 3-2 lead thanks to Mark Fallati beating the Quakers’ Neal Port in a super tie-breaker, 3-6, 6-4, 10-8.
Port, who once trained with Fallati, dominated early with hard right-line forehands and a couple of overhand smashes.
But Fallati used incredible back-to-back, desperation second-set gets to mount his rally before taking the tie-breaker with the rain picking up.
“In the second set, I felt I needed to be more aggressive,” Fallati said.
Also winning for Mamaroneck were the doubles teams of Dan Baigel and Sam McGrath, and Ryan Cadden and Peter Simone.
Greeley’s Rex Glickman won his match 6-0, 6-0 and his teammates Josh Bluestine and Kevin Socolow got a tie-breaker win in doubles.
With about 50 people cheering between their courts at Solaris, Greeley’s Jeremy Wei defeated Joe Carney 6-4, 6-2 and the Quaker tandem of Ryan Quish and Lucas Cacase — nicknamed “The Wall” for their net play — topped Sam Seagan and Mike Genecin 6-2, 6-2.
“I was amazed that we turned it around,” Wei said.
Dobbs Ferry, which played outdoors pre-rain, dominated start to finish with 6-0, 6-0 wins from Hadavi over Reid Pakula (Hadavi running Pakula around); Selin (relying on serves and ground strokes) over Ed Richter; freshman Cyrus Hadavi (characterized by coach Erik Bartell as “our glue”) over Thomas Brown; and Gabe Cassorla and Will Raderman over Jim Longeloti and Max Tyler. Daniel Lilling and Noah Barron beat Joe Tunas and Nick Deangelis 6-0, 6-2.
Shifting credit from himself to his players and their parents, who, he said, invest so much time and money into their kids’ games, Bartell said, “This is a special team… I’m proud to be along for the ride.”