Boys’ tennis falls short of CCS title

May 20, 2008 — by Brian Tsai

The boys’ tennis team failed to avoid repeating history when the Falcons lost to Sacred Heart Prep in the CCS finals on May 9. They previously lost to Sacred Heart in the ‘06 CCS finals.

“They played a lot better, and I think they really wanted to win,” said sophomore No. 2 doubles player Aditya Joshi. “We were too excited about beating Menlo, and we thought we’d [pull off a] win already against Sacred Heart, so we weren’t as focused.”

The Falcons lost 2-5, despite defeating Sacred Heart Prep 5-2 earlier this season. Sophomore No. 3 singles player Michael McGinnis suffered a back injury, causing the team to be at a disadvantage 0-1. No. 3 doubles players Michael Chang and Sameet Ramakrishnan were close to defeating their opponents, but were mentally affected when Sacred Heart pulled off another win during their match, capturing the CCS title 4-2.

“Everyone was disappointed [when we lost], but I think [Sacred Heart] knew that we probably could have taken them on if we were all healthy,” said freshman No. 2 singles player Nikhil Jayashankar. “It was just unlucky that we were injured.”

Placing in the CCS finals meant that the Falcons were eligible to participate in NorCals, held at UC Davis this year. Five players, however, could not play in NorCals due to national open tournaments in Sacramento and Texas. As a result, Saratoga withdrew.

The team lost only two matches all year.

“This year was good in some ways, in the way that we had really great players,” said senior captain Emerson Lin. “I guess the sad part is it wasn’t as fun, because we didn’t go to Fresno, and we didn’t get to go to NorCals. There was a lack of bonding.”

The Falcons are only losing three players to graduation: seniors Emerson Lin, Sameet Ramakrishnan and Michael Wu. The four singles players, Eric Gast, Nikhil Jayashankar, John Lamble and Michael McGinnis, are all underclassmen, indicating a strong, promising future.

“I think [next year] will be great or even better, as long as the key players at SHS try-out,” said Joshi.