After moving up to Division I and losing some key doubles players to graduation, the Blair tennis team is going to have a very different season from last year.
The team lost two starting doubles players from last year, Sei-Wook and Ji-Heon Kim who were huge contributors to the squad. However, according to coach David Ngbea, both older returners and new freshmen will more than make up for the disadvantage. With ten stellar freshmen on the team this year, Blair boys' tennis has a lot of potential, with freshmen Eric Su and Hailiu Yang starting in the spring as doubles and single players, respectively.
The team's three returning senior singles players should also be strong this year. Michael Price, Gordon Su and Jason Liu have put in plenty of preseason practice and have built on the experience from last year to create a very competitive team.
Speed may be the Blazers' greatest asset. Not only are they more mobile than before, they are hitting faster, which should be overpowering to otherwise tough opponents, according to Ngbea.
Senior Gordon Su believes last year's team was actually better than its 9-4 record shows and that they lost too many close matches. "For the past three years, we have had a real solid team. We had many upsets but last year we finally moved back to first division where we belong," said Gordon Su.
Injured players senior Artem Ryzhkov and freshman Jordan Fein show great potential and would have been great assets to the doubles teams. The deficit left Ngbea nervous for the outcome of doubles matches this season. "It always comes down to the doubles," he explained.
The depth of the team will help this spring, said Su, listing different playing styles, increased speed and ample experience as some core factors that will "hopefully lead the team to a much more consistent season."
The first match is on March 22 at Einstein at 3:30 p.m.
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