Blazers end season at a 7-4 record to head into playoffs
BLAZER COURTS, April 30 -
Blair's boys' tennis ended its regular season with a decisive 7-0 win against the Springbrook Blue Devils. The Blazers will be heading into the playoffs starting next Monday, with preliminaries beginning this Friday.
At first singles, Blair's senior captain Michael Hsu triumphed over Springbrook's Peter Hawkins. The 6-1, 6-3 game was characterized by many strategic plays by Hsu. Hsu started strongly and forced Hawkins to run for the ball by carefully placing his shots out of his opponent's reach. Hsu played especially well at the net, taking control of many plays. Though Hawkins forced Hsu to match up in strength and agility in the second set, Hsu still easily won the hour-long match.
Second singles sophomore Dukyoung Park fared more smoothly against the Blue Devils' Jonathan Nwasu. Nwasu's many mistakes and Park's many flawless plays gave Blair the advantage. Nwasu failed to serve and return serves, allowing Park to finish the set 6-0, 6-0 in just 40 minutes.
Third singles freshman Ajay Kannan defeated Richard Steinward. Taking advantage of Steinward's many mistakes, Kannan won soon after Park at 6-1, 6-0.
Junior Charles Kong struggled against Springbrook's Landry Horimbere at fourth singles, but ultimately won in two straight sets, 7-5, 6-4. Part of his struggle was with a stomach cramp, which hindered his play from the middle of the first set until the end of the 90- minute match.
In the doubles' arena, junior Samir Chainani and senior Nitin Sukumar were pitted against Saqib Antar and Ted Yang at first doubles. The game started slowly, as both teams played with low energy. The Blazers had some difficulty playing near the net, but made up with powerful serves and strategic deep hits into the opposing court. Chainani and Sukumar clinched a Blair win after winning the fourth game, 6-1, 6-3.
At second doubles, juniors Henry Zhang and Kerry Cheng likewise defeated their opponents 6-1,6-2. The Blazers gained the upper hand by taking an offensive, striking position against the Blue Devils' more defensive plays. Third to finish was sophomore Rohan Bhale and freshman Gil Guo at third doubles, who overcame their opponents in a clean match, 6-1, 6-2.
After a sound finish to the season, coach David Ngbea expected Blair to be in the top four in the county after playoffs. "My expectation is that we should do well," Ngbea said. Although Blair ended its season at 7-4, Ngbea believed that its loss against Northwest earlier in the season was unwarranted and avoidable. Ngbea mentioned that Blair still needs to work on offensive playing, such moving forward on plays instead of staying at the baseline. By placing shots strategically, the Blazers can garner more points more easily and efficiently in the playoffs.
Ya Zhou. Ya likes what basically everyone needs. Eat, sleep…and more sleep. There can never be too much of it. In her spare time, she obsesses over Asian dramas and music. She often procrastinates, but hopes to remedy her problem by beginning SCO assignments before the weekend … More »