Loss to University High fuels team winning streak


DUAL THREAT: Doubles player Avi Carson ’22 prepares for the opposing team to return Amaan Irfan’s ’21 serve Feb. 27. Photo credit: Lucas Lee/Chronicle.

Luke Casola

After winning two consecutive Team CIF Finals, the boys’ tennis team is currently on a 17 game winning streak this season, improving to 17-1 overall and 7-0 in league as of press deadline.

The Wolverines opened the season with a 79-76 loss to University High School on Feb. 19, but haven’t lost since.

“I really believe that the season has been great from all levels,” doubles player Pat Otero ’21 said. “We recovered from a tough loss at the beginning of the season and rose to a new level where we’ve been able to comfortably beat every team since then without looking back.”

The squad won the Mission League Finals on April 17 advancing closer to winning a third consecutive Team CIF Final. After the match, David Arkow ’20 and Sam Landau ’22 won Mission League Doubles Most Valuable Players.

“We’ve won league around 22 times in a row,” team captain Mike Thomas ’20 said. “I don’t even know exactly because we’ve won it too many times.”

Two of the Wolverine’s doubles teams, Thomas partnered with Otero and Arkow partnered with Landau, qualified for the CIF Individual Tournament due to their overall success throughout the season. According to Thomas, both squads will be getting in extra work with their doubles partners outside of school and practice in preparation for the tournament.

Despite none of the squad’s singles players qualifying for the CIF Individual Tournament, Thomas said that he believes singles competition in the Mission League was tougher this season compared to last season.

Aside from the strength of the team’s doubles players, several players, including Thomas, Avi Carson ’22 and Amaan Irfan ’21 said they believe first-year program head Bo Hardt and the senior leadership of team captain Kenneth Lee ’19 have contributed most to the winning streak.

“[Hardt] has been someone that has always been around for us,” Thomas said. “We are very comfortable with him because he’s been an assistant coach in past years. I feel he is always in our corner and always supporting [us] during matches and practice.”

The Wolverines are currently competing in the Ojai Tournament. On day one, singles player Timothy Li ’20 defeated Peninsula High School in his second match. The final results of the matches Sunday are unavailable as of press time.

The dates for the Team CIF Final are yet to be determined, but will take place within the upcoming couple weeks, Thomas said.

“We have to stay focused on going for a third consecutive CIF championship,” Irfan said. “A lot of the team has had two weeks off from school games due to the scheduling, so we are going to need to be prepared when the time comes.”