After an iffy start to the season, the Boys Tennis team certainly picked up its game this past week. Not only did the team win both head-to-head matches it participated in, but it also was the victor of the first (hopefully annual) tournament hosted at Hawken itself.
Our first match of the week came on Thurday, at home against Orange. Several days of rough weather gave the team a long gap between matches, so everyone was raring to go when the chance to play finally came. The strong singles trio remained unchanged (Sid Ahuja ’14, Vid Yadav ’15, and Adam Lee ’14), with Max Pollock ’14 and Davesh Modi ’16 were paired at first doubles, and seniors Arthur Erlendsson ’13 and Russell Cohen ’13 given their first shot at varsity second doubles. It was windy and somewhat cold out, but the team fought hard, and ultimately won the top four courts, securing our first victory of the season 4-1.
On Friday, the team traveled to Beachwood for a rescheduled match. Kush Khosla ’15 and Davesh were paired at first doubles, with Max and Marshall Rankin ’14 at second doubles. Beachwood had been engaging in some trash-talking on various social media in the week leading up to the match, so we were really hoping to show them who was truly the better team. Even at the match itself, Beachwood changed its lineup around to pair its top two players together at first doubles, hoping to throw the Hawks off and sneak away with a win. However, their efforts proved unsuccessful. All three Hawken singles players won their matches, leading to a 3-2 victory. It was an exciting win and a fulfilling one as it brought our record up to .500.
Just when everyone thought they could have the weekend to relax, the team realized that this was no ordinary weekend: it was time for the first annual Hawken-hosted tennis tournament. Six schools competed over two grueling days: Hawken, University School, Gilmour Academy, Western Reserve Academy, Lake Ridge Academi, and The Kiski School, traveling all the way from Pittsburgh. The tournament consisted of five brackets, first, second, and third singles and first and second doubles, with each school’s entry playing all five other entries at their level in a round-robin schedule. Snow delayed the start of tournament on Saturday morning and moved it to the Wembley Club, but matches began that day at 1 PM. The first two rounds were held at Wembley, with the final three being played over a grueling five hours on Sunday, at Hawken. It was a test of endurance for everyone involved, but the Hawks proved that they had the skills it took to succeed.
In the first singles bracket, Sid started with a big win over Gilmour’s top player, then lost to the number one player from US in a tiebreaker. However, a good night’s sleep was all he needed, as the team captain won all three rounds on Sunday, earning him second place in his division, ironically behind the Gilmour player he had defeated. At second singles, Vid came into the tournament confident and prepared, and it showed, as he remained undefeated throughout the weekend and won his bracket. Adam Lee was also incredibly calm, quiet, and collected, as he won all five matches, losing just a single game. That 40-1 record in individual games is unbelievable while, obviously, he’d handily won his bracket. Kush and Davesh lost a close opening match to WRA in the first doubles bracket, but they regrouped beautifully and won their remaining four, including a dramatic comeback against US. Their strong work earned them first place in their division. Max and Marshall played an excellent match against US in second doubles, fighting back from a 2-7 deficit to play to a remarkably close 6-8 defeat. However, they won all of their other matches, so they finished second place in their division. Thus, Hawken managed to become the first winner of its own tournament, with 23 out of a possible 25 points. Everyone played incredibly well and did their part to help the team. Even coach Todd was all smiles during the awards ceremony.
After a much needed break on Monday, the team hosts Kenston on Tuesday, the 23rd. They are a strong team, so it should be an exciting match. On Thursday, the 25th, the Hawks travel out to Walsh Jesuit, hoping for another big win.