Hewlett High School senior tennis player Rachel Arbitman capped off her high school tennis career with a record-breaking victory at Eisenhower Park on April 17.
Arbitman became the first female tennis player to win four county championships after she defeated Friends Academy’s Isabella Sha, 6-1, 5-7, 6-0. It’s Arbitman’s third overall county singles title as she won a doubles county championship in 2019. Arbitman said she did not know about the record until after her match.
“After the match, I was being interviewed by a tennis-based magazine and they told me about the record,” she said. “I told them I had no idea and I looked at them astonished. It was really awesome to find that out.” Arbitman is also a two-time state champion.
Hewlett girl’s tennis coach Abby Samlin said that Arbitman has been a joy to coach ever since she joined the varsity team as a freshman in 2017. “Any coach would want to have a player like Rachel,” Samlin said. “What she has done for our program is incredible. Usually a top ranked player opts to not play high school tennis, but Rachel always wanted to play and has embraced all of it from the day she walked in as a freshman.” Samlin added that in addition to Arbitman's county title, freshman Nyla Gresfield finished third in the county tournament.
The camaraderie of being on a team has always been fun for Arbitman. “For me, I’ve always said playing high school tennis was the best decision I’ve ever made. Tennis is such an individual sport,” she said. “Coming together as a team and representing your school is such a different level of fun.”
Arbitman heads to Harvard University in the fall and will continue her tennis career. She said that she will always look back fondly at her high school tennis career. “Being able to get my senior season was a dream come true,” she said. “I know some seniors who didn't get to have their senior season and it was really awesome to have a season and finish it off in this amazing way.”