Boys tennis overcomes obstacles as season progresses May 20, 2020 — by Apurva Chakravarthy A lack of focus and clashing mindsets in doubles teams prove harmful to team’s overall dynamic and performance Editor’s note: This story was written prior to the closure of schools on March 16 because of the coronavirus. Coming off of a successful 2019 season, the boys’ varsity tennis team hopes to strengthen their team dynamics, adjust to the loss of players to graduation and welcome the new players on the team. This year, the team welcomed three new players: sophomore Vignav Ramesh and juniors Mithil Chakraborty and Coen Poelman. Their first match was on March 3 against Gunn, a very strong team, according to sophomore Benjamin Bray. Ultimately, the team fell 5-2, with only Bray and sophomore Anthony Zheng winning their matches. The team has strong singles players. Senior captain Ronit Pattanayak attributes the loss to a lack of focus in the team, an issue that he feels is one of their main obstacles this season. The team knows that they are a strong competitor in the league, leading to them letting their guard down at times, especially when playing weaker teams, said Pattanayak. “We just have to bring the intensity everytime,” Pattanayak said. Pattanayak said the team currently has very strong underclassmen and their singles teams “are pretty reliable and we can rely on that moving forward.” Last season, the team went 10-2 and placed second in the league, and this year, Pattanayak and the team hope to get first in league. Their main goals for the season are to stay consistent with their playing. “Especially in high school tennis, it’s easy to get overwhelmed but I think we just need to stay grounded and play consistently,” Pattanayak said. In their first practice match against St. Francis on Feb. 25, the team tested out their line up and determined who would and wouldn’t be playing. The team won 4-3. The team is still working on strengthening their dynamic. Especially in their doubles team, many seniors graduated, and doubles teams are still working on finding which players work best with each other. “In doubles, you just have to find a partner who you naturally play well with, so now there’s a lot of new people playing doubles and they don’t know who they gel with yet,” Pattanayak said. The team’s next match will be on March 17 against Los Gatos. As the season moves forward, the team hopes to strengthen their doubles teams and increase the focus and intensity in games and practices to finish the season strong and hopefully take home a win. “This year we want to get first in league because for the last few years, we’ve been doing pretty well and getting second, but I think this is the year where we can finally win first,” Pattanayak said.