Give them a hand.
For the second year in a row, the Midwood High School boys’ handball team took the PSAL championship title, defeating first seed Telecommunications 3−2.
In what wound up being a nailbiter between the well−matched teams, the Hornets’ singles player Frankie Mai defeated Yellowjacket Eric Lee 21−15 to decide the match for Midwood, seeded second in the playoffs.
This was the second time the junior came through for Midwood, who last year was also the deciding match in the championship game against Bronx Science, who the team beat 3−2 after Mai and his second doubles partner Jason Tam won their match.
This brings Midwood’s boys’ handball team to an undefeated 32−0 for the past two years.
Having four of the seven starters on this year’s team returning from that championship team certainly didn’t hurt this year, said Coach Jennifer Rogers, especially against Telecom, in their first year in the finals.
“They knew what they had to do,” said Rogers of her squad. “Experience was definitely a positive.”
A solid season of play and a positive attitude from the start didn’t hurt things, either, for the 26−person team.
“Their attitude was just great,” said Rogers. “The team was together through the whole year. They just kept improving day by day and came out on top in the end.”
In the championship game, held Friday, May 29, at Lafayette High School, Midwood was off to a winning start, with sophomore Jack Wong defeating Jimmy Ni 21−9 in third singles. Losing the first singles and first doubles matches, they fell 2−1, until second doubles pair Jason Tam and Shi Lin won 21−10 to tie the game and set up Mai for the ultimate win.
It was quite the weekend for Mai, who also claimed the PSAL Singles Individual Championship, defeating Joshua Garcia, Telecom’s first singles player, 21−10 in the semifinals before going on to defeat Wagas Rana of Aviation 21−17 for the title.
“It was a good weekend for Frankie,” said Rogers.
Also in the individual play, Midwood’s second doubles pair of Tam and Lin won the Doubles Individual, while first doubles pair James Liu and Brendan Yuen came in third place.
With the Midwood team only graduating three of its seven starters, and with all three singles players returning for next year’s season, things bode well for the school for a three−peat.