Netmen soar to Division I

May 16, 2003, midnight | By Samir Paul | 21 years, 1 month ago

Blazers take Division II title

With a stellar 9-4 season (6-1 division record), the boys' tennis team captured the Division II title through a three-way tie with Springbrook and Richard Montgomery High Schools. The team's only divisional loss came in the Apr 28 match against Springbrook, where they were defeated 3-4.

At the end of the season, the Blazers finished tied with RM and Springbrook for the title. Since Blair had won the most games (67) in its matches during the season, the Blazers were awarded the title. The team completed the regular season with five shutouts, its highest number of 7-0 wins in several years.

For the past two seasons the Netmen were considered the favorite to win the Division II championship, but their hopes were dashed when they lost crucial matches toward the ends of the seasons. With one of the best records in the county, the team will step up to Division I next spring.

Coach David Ngbea was pleased with the season. "We did well to the point where we only lost one match that had an impact on us, to Springbrook. But the bottom line is that we won the division. I was very satisfied," he said.

Ngbea added that the team needs to practice in the off-season in order to make up for the little time during the season to learn new techniques. "We don't have enough time for them to really master skills, so they need to make sure not to put their rackets up, but to play until next season," he said. He also stressed the importance of strengthening the team's ground-strokes and volleys.

First doubles player freshman Andy Jiang felt that the team was extremely lucky to come out on top of the tie. "We beat Richard Montgomery, they beat Springbrook, and then Springbrook beat us. We thought we had lost it for sure," said Jiang. He also said that he was disappointed at his and first doubles partner junior Artem Rhykov's performance in the Springbrook match.

Fourth-seeded singles player junior Jason Liu was the best Blazer at the county tournament, advancing to the finals where he lost 6-4, 6-1 to Brian Cohen of Thomas Wootton High School. "Both of us were having a rough day, but he was always tougher at crunch time," he said. "I just want to forget about that match and think about improving."

Ngbea made it clear that the Blazers deserved their title. "They really do work hard," he said. "Division I is where we belong."

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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