Boys’ Tennis has slow start to season

Bryant Wu

The boys’ tennis team has started their season 1-2 with a 10-8 victory over West Ranch High School, a 14-3 loss to University Irvine High School and a 12-6 loss to San Marino High School.

The team’s victory over West Ranch proved to them that they could manage on their own after losing key starters Michael Genender ’15, who is currently playing at Stanford University, Jaird Meyer ’15, who is taking a gap year and committed to playing for the University of Chicago, and doubles players Parker Chusid ’15, Jacob Adler ’15 and Josh Rubin ’15.

However, the tide turned against them going up against University Irvine, who had just lost their streak of six straight CIF Championships.

During the loss to University Irvine, Adam Sraberg ’17, Hunter Brookman ’16 and George Noonan ’16 each took a singles set, and team manager  and player Noah Redlich ’16 was leading in his singles set as the match progressed. However, the doubles teams of Jed Kronenberg ’17/Sacha Pritzker ’18, Jared Eisner ’16/Kenneth Lee ’19, and Jacob Tucker ’17/Stanley Morris ’16 were all swept by an aggressive University squad.

“It was a tough day for the team, but I don’t think the result is indicative of how our season will progress,” Tucker said. “We were trying out some different doubles combinations that were new for us, and we lost some tight sets in the first round. Had we played a little better in the tight moments in the beginning of the match, the scoreline could’ve been way different.”

Many members of the team predict that this season will be succesful like the last one was.  This year the Wolverines have six returning varsity starters and 10 returning varsity players, including Tucker, Sraberg, Kronenberg, Morris, Noonan and Pritzker.

Last year, the Wolverines went 18-1 in their regular season and 10-0 in league play.  As of now, the Wolverines are on a 178-game Mission League win streak, their last Mission League loss coming in 1999.

In addition to their league accomplishments, the team reached the CIF Southern Section finals and CIF State semifinals last year, beating teams such as Palm Springs, Northwood and Viewpoint.

“Last season we had a lot of talent and came close to getting the championship, but we underperformed as a team in the finals,” Tucker said.  “We lost a lot of seniors this year, and this season is a lot about development.”

Despite losing multiple senior talents to college last year and having a shaky start to the season, Keon Niknejad ’16 remains confident for a successful season.

“We hope to win CIF,” Niknejad said. “We have a few new guys who can definitely do some damage.”

The Wolverines’ record currently stands at 1-2 (0-0 in league play). The first Mission League game for the team is against Crespi High School.