The squad was calm and collected before the match. Warmups were methodical and precise. The team was laughing and smiling as formal lineups were announced. There was no discernible difference in the intensity of play as they transitioned from warmups to the real thing, save for captain Adam Sraberg ’17 changing from the warm up shirt to the game shirt. There would be no repeat of the quarterfinals.
“I think we had a really rough match on Monday where we barely beat Los Alamitos when we thought going in we would beat them by a lot more,” captain Jed Kronenberg ’17 said. “Having that tough match made us want to prove ourselves today.”
With the season on the line, the squad delivered its best performance of the year, going on to win the first six matches of the first round. The confidence gained from the the players’s exceptional first round performance carried into the next, and they won the first four matches, sealing the day at 10-0. The final score was 15-3 and the squad advanced to the CIF-SS DI finals.
Boys' Tennis advances to Friday's final of the CIF-SS DI championship vs Peninsula HS after defeating University HS 15-3 in the semi's. pic.twitter.com/CLLsLQPDeW
— Harvard-Westlake (@hwathletics) May 18, 2017
“Today was without a doubt the best display of our abilities as tennis players,” Sraberg said. “I can attribute that to the mental lessons we learned yesterday and the huge fanatic support. If we are on as a team we can beat anyone in the country.”
The squad will face Peninsula on Friday at the Claremont Club for its final match of the season. For the seniors, it will be their final match of their high school careers.
When asked for their final thoughts on what winning on Friday would mean to them, the captains had strikingly similar responses:
“It would make my senior year the best year ever,” Kronenberg said. “This team is incredibly fun to be apart of and winning a ring with these guys would be awesome beyond words.”
“It’s been my goal since I got my acceptance letter to Harvard-Westlake, and especially as this is my 3rd showing in the championships, it would be even more surreal to win,” Sraberg said.
“Winning on Wednesday would mean that all the hours I’ve put in since I started tennis at four years old, that my fellow seniors have put in since freshman year, and that the team has trained this year, would be so freaking worth it,” Tucker said.