Netmen inch by Rockets

April 3, 2003, midnight | By Samir Paul | 21 years, 1 month ago


In an Apr 2 match at Richard Montgomery High School, the boys tennis team scraped by with a 4-3 win.

First-seeded junior Michael Price was defeated 6-1, 6-0, and second-ranked junior Gordon Su lost 6-7, 7-3, 6-2. On courts three and four, juniors Maxsim Gibiansky and Jason Liu won 6-0, 6-3 and 6-3, 6-2, respectively.

As cited earlier in the season by Coach David Ngbea, doubles was the key to the match. On court one, junior Artem Rhykov and senior Sei-Wook Kim lost their match 6-1, 6-1. Second doubles partners junior Kevin Chai and senior Ji-Heon Kim won 6-0, 6-1.

However, the match on court three went on long after the others ended. "Thirty minutes after we had all finished, we realized that third doubles was still playing," said Ji-Heon Kim.

Freshman Michael Tsai and sophomore Edward Hsieh were left playing the deciding match in a 3-3 tie between the Blazers and the Rockets. "The whole tennis team gathered by the fence, cheering each winning shot and clapping and everything," recalled Ji-Heon Kim.

Hsieh and Tsai came through with a 6-3, 6-4 win, tipping the scales in favor of Blair.

Chai noted that the Rockets were a more worthy foe than once expected. "We went into the matches thinking it would be a pretty easy win. But after a while, we all found out that they were very competitive," he said.

Tsai concurred. "We started out kind of shaky," he said. "Our serves and shots were going in, but we figured out from the beginning that our net game was going to give us some trouble."

Ngbea spoke to Hsieh and Tsai during side-changes. "His pointers were helping. He kept having to talk to us about our volleys," Tsai said, also mentioning how Ngbea encouraged the pair to "be aggressive" and poach as much as possible. Both Tsai and Kim credited serves and holding out during long baseline rallies for pulling them through the tough match.

Ji-Heon Kim praised the team, saying, "I think we have a lot going for us. We have talent, experience, and sprit; I could see it today, the team spirit."

"It was a crucial match," said Liu. Chai added, "The team really tried to prevent losing the division in a close match like in years past. Today, we all knew what we had to do and we executed it well."

Chai noted that the Rockets were one of Blair's biggest Division II rivals. "We need to look out for Springbrook, our final match," he added.

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 »

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