Boys Tennis: High Hopes, but Plenty of Work

As the boys tennis team returned from spring break, we had much to be optimistic about.  Much of last year’s team had returned to the courts, another year of experience under their belts.  There had been an unprecedented massive influx of freshmen, many of whom were playing well enough to push for a varsity spot.  Of course, we had our spectacular new courts, and finally getting the chance to practice on them was an experience we all enjoyed.  Indeed, we felt good about the coming season. We wanted to build off the steady improvement of last year and hopefully end up with another great year.

Unfortunately, the first week of matches was a clear reminder that we still have much work to do if we intend to achieve our lofty goals.  We opened on Wednesday, the 3rd, hosting Solon in the freezing cold. The frozen air was made even more severe by constant gusts of wind that kept everyone shivering in their uniforms.  Solon is always a strong team, and this year proved to be no exception to that rule.  Our lineup consisted of Captain Sid Ahuja ’14 at first singles, Vid Yadav ’16 at second singles, Captain Adam Lee ’14 at third singles, Max Pollock ’14 and Kush Khosla ’15 at first doubles, and Davesh Modi ’16 and Sami Fares ’16 at second doubles.  Alas, every single court lost, and most lost fairly rapidly.  It was a disappointing start to the season, and the sort of match we hoped to not repeat.

After a focused, intense practice on Thursday, we hosted St. Ignatius on Friday, the 5th.  Ignatius is another big rival of ours, though they have the advantage of a far larger pool of boys from which to draw players.  While we kept our singles players unchanged, we made some moves at doubles, partnering Kush and Davesh at first doubles and putting Max with Marshall Rankin ’14 (playing for the boys this year after being injured in the fall during the girls tennis season) at second doubles.  The weather was much nicer and indeed, this time we came out fighting.  Both doubles courts fell in just two sets, but singles was far more of a battle.  Vid managed to pull off a win in two straight sets, earning him his first of hopefully many victories on the varsity team.  Adam lost his first set, but fought back impressively and managed to win the final two sets to scratch out another court for us.  Sid won the first set against an opponent ranked among the top players in the midwest, but he was defeated in the next two sets, earning Ignatius a 3-2 victory.  It was a frustrating loss, but we felt far better about it than we had after the Solon match. We gave it our best effort and no one could deny that.

This past week, we were scheduled to have two matches – against Chagrin and Shaker – but both were rained out. They should be rescheduled soon. This week is an important one for us.  On Tuesday, the 16th, we travel to Beachwood to take on another area rival.  The Bison have been talking up the match via twitter, even engaging in some trash talk, so we plan on reminding them who the better team really is.  On Thursday, the 18th, Orange makes the journey to Hawken. We would love some fan support, especially if the weather is good.  This coming weekend, the 20th and 21st, Hawken will host a tournament for the first time in a long time.  Teams participating include University School, Gilmour Academy, Western Reserve Academy, Lake Ridge Academy, and even a school from West Virginia.  This should be a particularly exciting weekend with lots of fun tennis, so everyone is highly encouraged to attend when possible to cheer us on.