Boys’ tennis: team bonding leads to league success

April 24, 2009 — by Kelly Lamble and Mika Padmanabhan

The no-hope-for-CCS Falcons have piled up a 10-0 record in league. The team attributes its success not only to the skill of its individuals but also to the cohesiveness of the unit.

“We all get along very well and that is the main reason for our success,” said coach Tom Uyehara. “A lot of the guys know each other from previous seasons and they all decided to come out and play even though we can’t play CCS.”

As disappointing as not having the opportunity at a CCS title is, (they were suspended from CCS after failing to appear at NorCals last year,) the boys are proud of their league accomplishments and confident they will snag the regular season championships. The only threat this season has been Palo Alto, who they narrowly beat twice previously, 4-3 both times. The key to keeping this threat at bay will be winning doubles matches.

“We need to play strong doubles again to beat them,” said sophomore No. 2 singles player Deepak Sabada.

In anticipation for the April 21 showdown, which could not be covered due to publication deadlines, the team has been working on doubles as well as experimenting with different line-ups.

“[Paly] is probably going to come out with a different line-up and so are we,” said Uyehara. “Hopefully, it will go in our favor.”

Pending the Palo Alto match, the boys will be crowned league champions with only a few matches left in the season.

Even without the excitement of a post-season, the team enjoyed friendly though fierce competition with each other, always urging each other to play better and improve.

“We are all competitive, but really close because everyone on the team likes each other,” said Sabada.

Even though competition is tough during practice, the boys band together during matches to create a formidable united front.

“Playing on the team this year has been really great because you have all your teammates cheering for you. They are all really supportive,” said Sabada.

The extra support helped the team to a 7-0 victory against Gunn High School on April 16.

“Last time we played [Gunn], it was really close and I think we decided that we wanted to sweep [at this match] and we did,” said Sabada.

On another positive note, the team is not losing any starters to graduation this year, meaning they could possibly be the favorites for the CCS title next year. With promise like that on the horizon, the future looks bright for the Falcon boys.

“Overall, they’re a great group of boys and much of our success is due to how close we are,” said Uyehara. “I hope we can have the same kind of dynamic next year when we will allowed back into CCS.”

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