Boys’ Tennis recovers from slow start to season

Boys’ Tennis recovers from slow start to season

Adam Straberg ’17 serves a ball during a match against St. Francis. The team went on to win 14-4. / Photo printed with permission of HW Athletics

After starting the season with a 2-2 record, the boys’ tennis team picked up the pace with an 11-game win streak despite losing many players to graduation.

“I am most proud of how the team has been able to deal with the adversity of losing a lot of good players from last year,” Sacha Pritzker ’18 said.

The team finished fifth in the All American Tournament in Ojai, California.

Last year, the team also finished fifth, even when it included nationally ranked players such as Michael Genender ’15 and Jacob Adler ’15. In this tournament, the Wolverines squared up against the top teams in the nation. The squad is currently ranked fifth in the nation.

“The fifth place finish in Ojai was really awesome because we lost so many key starters from last season, so to come back and do just as well was really great,” captain Jed Kronenberg ’17 said. “I think that winning league for another year is always a good accomplishment and speaks to how hard we have been working in practice.”

Pritzker is an underclassmen who has stepped up into a new larger role.

“[Pritzker] has gotten a lot better since his freshman season and did really well in the All American Tournament,” Kronenberg said. “Without him, we wouldn’t have done nearly as well.”

Pritzker also thinks that his experience on varsity has helped him develop as a player.

“Personally, I have tried to improve the doubles aspect of my game, as it has become more important for the team’s success,” Pritzker said. “It’s definitely more pressure playing a higher position on the team, but I really enjoy the challenge of playing at consistently higher levels and continuing to improve.”

Other players who have stepped up this year are Theo Velaise ’17 and Matthew Bergman ’17, Jacob Tucker ’17 said.

Kronenberg’s contributions have also been vital to the team’s success.

“[Kronenberg] has played an integral role in our team’s late season success,” Tucker said.  “He has really stepped up to the role of captain and has been someone who the players look up to and feel comfortable around.  Jed is always supportive and one of the biggest voices in our matches.”

The team also participated in the CIF singles and doubles tournament in Ojai.  As of press time, the doubles pairing of Adam Sraberg ’17 and Kronenberg had advanced to the semi-finals, beating doubles teams from La Costa Canyon High School, University High School and Torrey Pines High School.

The team credits its late-season success to certain players gaining much needed experience over the course of the beginning of the season.

“The lack of experience led us to drop some matches, but it was clear throughout the beginning of the season that we had the skill level to play with the best teams in the nation,” Kronenberg said. “Throughout the season many of the players have gained the more competitive and focused mentality that they have needed to win these key matches.”

Tucker feels that his individual play has helped him improve his competitiveness in matches.

“I feel like [I have] a more cutthroat attitude this year towards the game,” Tucker said. “I’ve also gotten better at getting in the heads of my opponents.”

Kronenberg also thinks that Tucker has been able to step up.

“[He] has been practicing a lot and working hard to be a better doubles player and has been doing really well now,” Kronenberg said.

Kronenberg added that his fellow captain George Noonan ’16 has been playing really tough opposition in singles  and is still winning.

Sraberg, the Wolverines’ number-one singles player,  helped maintain the team’s strong start.

Sraberg has beaten key players like Menlo High School star Nathan Safran ’16, a four-star recruit committed to Johns Hopkins University.

“Adam has been doing great,” Kronenberg said. “He’s really leading the team both in practice and in matches. Whether he plays singles or doubles, we always count on him to do well.”

The Wolverines will play against Peninsula High School away from home today and then square off against Notre Dame on Thurday before starting their CIF run.

 

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