Boys’ tennis resumes with solid returning players

February 10, 2020 — by Preston Fu and Andrew Lee

The Falcons look forward to another strong season coming off of their positive performance during the previous season, but hope to gain more in CCS

Head Coach: Florin Marica

Last year’s  record: 10-2

Recap: The Falcons placed second in the league. The team advanced to CCS quarterfinals CCS, where they fell to Bellarmine 7-0.

Key Additions: none

Key Matchups: Monta Vista

Star Players: senior Ronit Pattanayak, junior Stefan Meier and sophomores Benjamin Bray and Anthony Zheng

Key losses to graduation: Derek Pinai, David Berkowitz-Sklar and Merrick Wang

League: De Anza division


Following a strong season last year, in which they  went 10-2 and made it to the CCS Division I quarterfinals against Bellarmine, the Falcons are rebuilding after losing star players senior Derek Pinai, Merrick Wang and David Berkowitz-Sklar. 

Balancing these losses are a strong group of returners, including seniors Ronit Pattanayak, junior Stefan Meier and sophomores Benjamin Bray and Anthony Zheng.

“I was pretty impressed with the abilities of all of our returning players,” said Pattanayak, who is slated to play No. 2 singles. “This will make for an exceptionally strong team foundation, which is welcome because I feel the past several seasons we’ve lacked a consistent set of core players.”

Despite their regular season dominance last year, the boys found themselves struggling to find match the firepower of one of the state’s elite teams in CCS. For the past two years, the Falcons fell to Bellarmine in the quarterfinals. 

The team hopes to orient themselves to better prepare for another potential CCS face-off against Bellarmine throughout the season. The boys will continue their focus on a reliable doubles lineup in order to maintain consistency throughout the season.

“Our past CCS performances definitely haven’t reflected the best of our playing ability, so I’m really hoping that this upcoming season will finally change that,” No. 1 doubles player junior Daniel Izrailevsky said. “I’m really liking how the team is looking right now though, and I’m pretty excited to be able to work with all of our players to train and improve.”