FLUSHING, N.Y. — Yorktown senior Sean Wei finished an outstanding spring by participating in the boys state championships at the United States Tennis Association Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, June 1-3, where he reached the state finals.
“I just played well and played my game,” Wei said. “It was such a great experience. I loved hanging out with all my friends and I loved playing at the U.S. Open. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I’m glad I was a part of it this year.”
Wei won the Section 1 championship when he, as the No. 1 seed, defeated No. 2, John Jay-Cross River senior Hayden Cassone, 6-4, 6-1, at Sound Shore Indoor Tennis in Port Chester on May 25.
“It was a great feeling to win and be able to represent my school and do well,” Wei said.
Wei’s performance made Husker coach Roger Dayer very proud.
“Only one other player in school history, Rob Ferrante, has ever won a sectional title, so it means a lot to our program to have someone do it again,” Dayer said. “I think our section is one of the best, if not the best section in New York State, so it is even more impressive that Sean was able to win the section this year. To have a state champion in the fall, Caitlyn Ferrante, and to have another player win the section and go to states in the spring season of the same year has greatly exceeded my wildest expectations.”
Rob Ferrante, who won the section in 2004 and 2005, is Caitlyn’s brother and one of her coaches.
Beating Cassone to become just the second Husker to win a boys sectional tennis title wasn’t easy for Wei.
“It was definitely tough—he’s a really good player,” Wei said. “I guess I played a little better than him that day.”
One advantage Wei had was that the game was indoors.
“I like indoors more because there are less factors to deal with like the sun and the wind,” said Wei, who will play tennis at Amherst College next year.
What added intrigue to the match is the relationship between Wei and Cassone, who train together and are usually doubles partners in the USTA.
“We are doubles partners, and it was tough playing him because we’re such good friends,” Wei said. “It means a lot because even though we’re friends we’re still trying to beat each other.”
Winning the championship also meant a lot because Wei was able to beat someone of Cassone’s caliber.
“Hayden Cassone is a very talented player who hits his serve and forehand harder than anyone in the section,” Dayer said. “Hayden has the hardest first serve of any high-school player I have ever seen. Sean is able to adapt his game to whatever circumstances he is presented with. He has the best service return of any player I have ever coached, and quite possibly has the best service return of any high-school player I have ever seen.”