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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Despite loss of key players, tennis team remains strong

Freshmen Andre Xiao and Kailar Shekar highlight the reason why the boys’ tennis team is primed for a deep run this season, despite having lost key players to graduation. Xiao and Shekar will play No. 2 and No. 3 singles respectively, showcasing one of the deepest rosters the Falcons have had in years.

“We were fortunate enough to get two freshmen who are both ranked in the top hundred nationally,” junior co-captain Neel Bedekar said. “So although we lost a few players, we have a singles lineup with much more depth.”

This year, in addition to losing singles alumni Henry Shen and Deepak Ravikumar, the team lost current seniors Zach Hewlin, Kush Maheshwari, Casper Chen and Tommy Chiou and junior Rohit Rao.

According to junior Albert Lin, the players most likely left “because of the time commitment.”

Even with the departures, the remaining players think they can compete.

“Even though we got four starters and lost seven players … I think it's safe to say that we're better than last year,” Bedekar said. “We have great depth, and just outmatch every team in NorCal, except for [the] Menlo [School].”

Although the season is just beginning, the captains have more ambitious goals for this year.

Bedekar believes “a division title should be an almost guarantee, and [they] should go undefeated in [their] league.”

Last year the team went 9-3 in its league, but lost in CCS semifinals to Serra High School.

“We're poised to at least match our last year's semifinal result at CCS, if not go even farther,” Bedekar said. “We do have a shot at winning CCS. I'd definitely not call this a rebuilding season, as we're still the favorite in our division.”

The Falcons cruised through their first three matches of the season, with a 5-2 victory over Cupertino on Feb. 27, a 7-0 drubbing of Gunn on March 4 and a strong win on March 5 over long-time rival Monta Vista to the tune of 6-1. The team faces off against Lynbrook on March 13.


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