Yesterday afternoon, Brandon Gicquel and Steven Ou won the Division III Doubles Championship, 6-3, 6-2, on a hot day at Mt. Sinai High School. The pair, which played the first half of the season as the Bears’ first and second singles players, teamed up to win the program’s first Division doubles title since Matt Mattimore and Nate Shaw claimed the crown in 1993.
In the final, Gicquel and Ou faced the #1 overall seeded Syron and Russello of Sachem, and seized control from the outset. The Bears broke Sachem’s serve in the first game, thanks to a backhand shot down the line from Ou at deuce. Gicquel held serve in the second game to give the Brook an early 2-0 edge as Ou imposed his will at the net with two overhead slams. They extended their lead by breaking Sachem again in game three before Ou held serve in game four as Gicquel put the Bears up 4-0 with a winner at the net. Sachem finally got on the board by holding serve in game five, but Gicquel overcame a double fault to hold his serve and give the Brook a 5-1 edge. Sachem won their next service game without yielding a point, then broke Ou in game eight to creep within 5-3, but the Bears broke the Arrows for the third time in game nine to claim the first set, 6-3, as Ou continued his masterful touch at the net.
The script remained unchanged in set two as the Bears built a commanding 4-0 lead. In game one, Gicquel overcame two double faults to hold serve. The sophomore played some beautiful cross-court angles, allowing Ou to continue attacking Sachem’s desperate lobs at the net. The Bears broke in game two as Ou jumped on Sachem’s vulnerable second serve to win on deuce point. The Bears flexed their muscles in game three as the pair combined for three slams as Ou held serve for a 3-0 lead. The Bears broke Sachem again in game four, once again taking the game on deuce point, this time on a stinger by Ou, forcing a weak return that Gicquel buried for the winner. Sachem broke in game five, then held serve in game six to pull within 2-4, but the Bears slammed the door as Ou held serve in game seven, closing with an ace at 40-30, then broke again in game eight as Ou closed with a flourish: return winner, backhand winner, missile up the middle.
Throughout the match, Gicquel and Ou played off each other in a way that belied the small amount of court time they’ve had together. Both also showed their full repertoire with brilliant touch shots at the net, powerful slams, and glittering baseline play that never allowed their Sachem counterparts to get comfortable.
Gicquel and Ou move on to the individual County Championships this weekend while the team awaits their opponent in the Suffolk team championships set for next week.