Division II title within reach
APR 23, MONTGOMERY BLAIR HIGH SCHOOL--
The Netmen overpowered the Rockville High School boys' tennis team, upping its record to 7-3 with a 6-1 win.
Juniors Michael Price, Maxsim Gibiansky, and Jason Liu won their matches on courts one, three, and four, respectively, not letting their opponents win more than three games per set. On court two, however, junior Gordon Su lost his match, winning the first set 7-5, but ceding the second and third sets 3-6 and 4-6.
On doubles court one, junior Artem Rhykov and senior Sei-Wook Kim won 6-0, 6-3. Second-ranked partners junior Kevin Chai and senior Ji-Heon Kim came out on top with an easy 6-1 first set and a close 7-5 second set. Finally, freshman Michael Tsai and sophomore Edward Hsieh dominated court three, emerging with a shutout in both sets.
Price attributed his victory to constancy. "My opponent was definitely a good player," he admitted, "but he had some consistency problems. I had a power problem, but I still came out on top, because consistency wins out over power." Price's serves were consistently in, and although his shots lacked force, he ran his opponent around the court, winning long rallies.
Coach David Ngbea was thrilled with today's win. "I expected them to do well, and I'm really pleased," he said. He later added that although there are some problems that must be fixed, he was still content with the victory.
Price concurred. "The matches went well, for the most part," he said.
Ngbea noted his wish to fortify the second singles position. "[Su] is beating himself," he said. "It's a question of rectifying some of the difficult situations he faces, like choice of shots. He just needs to relax, and he'll be okay. He's a great player."
Su agreed that he was "beating himself," and added that he hoped to work toward a stronger psychological game. "I've got to work on my mental toughness," he resolved. "I should have killed him, but instead, I killed me. I've just got to go out there and stop being smart. I've got to go out there and play some tennis."
The weather made playing conditions unfavorable, but Ngbea was happy with the team's performance in spite of this hurdle. "It was a difficult match to judge because it was so windy," he said. "It made things very difficult, and I applaud the players for having hung in there."
Su expressed his continuing confidence in the team. "We've generally been doing really well," he said, "and it looks like we're on the road to winning Division II." He noted that Blair should watch for their match versus Springbrook High School, the biggest remaining challenge in the Blair schedule.
Samir Paul. <b>Samir Paul</b>, a Magnet senior, spent the better part of his junior year at Blair brooding over everyone's favorite high-school publication and wooing Room 165's menopausal printer. He prides himself in being <i>THE</i> largest member of Blair Cross Country and looks forward to one more … More »