Sitaras Climbs to Conference Title, Falls into Sectionals

Somers senior Nick Sitaras returns a shot at sectionals. Credits: Vic McGee

SOMERS, N.Y.— Somers tennis star Nicolas Sitaras is used to winning matches fairly easily, and that trend continued in the conference championships held the week of May 13.

Sitaras, a senior, didn't even lose a set the whole way in competition at John Jay-Cross River High School. After receiving a first round bye, he bested John Jay-CR's Travis Laub, 6-2, 6-1, in the quarterfinal. 

On Wednesday, May 16, Sitaras dominated Rye's Shane Killagan, 6-2, 6-1, in the semifinal. The final round was played to a similar tune as the senior outmatched Josh Nelson of Hendrick Hudson, 6-3, 6-2, on Friday, May 18.

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"Nick trains with a lot of these kids," Somers coach Frank Catania said. "Nick is a dedicated tennis player. That's his thing—he's all tennis. This year, you could see a big difference in him. His movement is very good and he has a nice back-hand."

Sectionals were a bit of a different story, as they commenced on Monday, May 21, at White Plains High School.

Still, Sitaras cruised past Scarsdale's Cash Vennham in the first round, 6-1, 6-2. He defeated Horace Greeley's Jesse Gluckman, 6-2, 6-2, in the quarterfinal a day later.

But on Wednesday, May 23, the dominant Sitaras fell to Clarkstown North's Ethan Jacobson in the semifinal, 6-3, 6-1.

Sitaras still had the opportunity to qualify for states after reaching the drawback round a day later against a player from Keio Academy. But he was defeated, 6-0, 6-2.

"Nick was the best kid that I ever had in all the years I've been coaching," Catania said. "He hit with all the kids in the beginning of the season and helped them out. He was a good team player and he never bragged about how good he was. He was a good kid."

As far as the other Tuskers, Catania's No. 1 doubles team in Alessandro Sitaras and Gabe Lima lost in the first round of the conference tournament to a duo from Hen Hud.

They won the first set, 6-4, but dropped the next two, 6-2, and 10-3. The pair of seniors in Alex Piazza and Francisco Cantarino won their first round match over a group from Hen Hud, 6-2, 6-3.

They proceeded to fall to a duo from Tappan Zee, 6-0, and 6-1 in the second round of conference play.

"The good thing about them (Cantarino and Piazza) is that I never see them angry or mad," Catania said. "Even if they miss a ball, it's like, 'OK, let's get to the next one.' They really worked well together and backed each other up. They didn't have the techniques, but they had the will to play and win, and that really helped them."

As a team, Somers notched its first conference championship in many years in what was an historic 2018 season.     

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