Team plays well, soundly defeats longtime rival
APR. 13, BLAZER TENNIS COURTS—
The Blair boys' tennis team overcame a formidable Wootton lineup and windy conditions to win 5-2, ending a long streak of losses to the Division I rival. The victory, which lifted the boys' record to 5-1, reasserted Blair's position as one of the finest teams in the county.
Fourth singles player junior Michael Hsu was the first to finish, breezing to a 6-2 6-2 win. Battling strong gusts, Hsu added more topspin and focused on keeping the ball in the court.
Soon after, his teammates also emerged from the court victorious. The second doubles team of seniors Andy Ding and Kelvin Le won the first set despite a 1-4 deficit and carried the momentum through the rest of the match to a 7-5 6-2 win. Ding believes that the key to the match was staying focused after coming back in the first set and leading in the second and to make good use the windy conditions. "We actually took advantage of [the wind] because we went to the net more," he said.
Third singles player senior Eric Su and the first doubles team of sophomore Charles Kong and freshman Dukyoung Park also won routine matches, both finishing 6-4 6-2.
First singles player senior Hailiu Yang, despite losing 7-6 (4) 7-5, believed that his play showed improvement from that of previous divisional matches. Yang tried to keep the pressure on his opponent by attacking his serve and backhand and giving away few free points. "I just tried to keep the ball in the court," Yang said.
While Yang says he played well, third doubles players sophomore Henry Zhang and junior Tony Chen were still unable to find their consistency. Their 6-1 6-2 loss means that they must continue searching for their elusive first divisional match win.
Second singles player senior Jordan Fein's match was the last to finish, with Fein winning a hard-fought 6-4 4-6 6-4. Both players showed a high level of intensity, which gave the match a sense of tension — even after match point, they shook hands begrudgingly.
Coach David Ngbea said that the win was made especially satisfying because Blair had come close to beating Wootton several times in the past, only to falter at the critical stages of the meet. "We always come close, but not close enough," he said. "This year, we didn't only come close, we won."
Blair's next home matches are against Northwood on April 14 at 10:00 a.m. and Sherwood on April 23 at 3:30 p.m.
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