APR 22, MONTGOMERY BLAIR HIGH SCHOOL--
The boys' tennis team defeated the Magruder Colonels in its fourth 7-0 sweep of the season, bringing the team's record up to 6-3. No matches went into three sets.
First-seeded junior Michael Price led the singles arena with a 6-1, 6-1 win. Fellow juniors Gordon Su and third-ranked Maxsim Gibiansky defeated their opponents 6-1, 6-0 and 6-2, 6-0, respectively, with junior Jason Liu rounding out the singles matches, winning 6-0, 6-3.
First doubles partners junior Artem Rhykov and freshman Andy Jiang, bumped up to first doubles due to senior Sei-Wook Kim's absence, won 6-4, 6-0. On court two, senior Ji-Heon Kim and junior Kevin Chai emerged with a 6-1, 6-4 victory, and playing third doubles, freshman Michael Tsai and sophomore Edward Hsieh pulled through 6-2 in both sets.
Su noted that he did not need to be very aggressive to defeat his opponent. "Soon enough, he psyched himself out, and he collapsed," he said. "I didn't have to do much to win."
Coach David Ngbea confirmed that the Magruder players were not as great a challenge as the Blazers are used to facing. "Some of our players are really used to playing with pace," he noted after the match, "but timing can get kind of creaky when your opponents aren't giving you that pace you love."
Jiang cited Ngbea's constant advice and corrections as an invaluable factor in his win. "When I was playing, I thought about lifting and not hitting too hard, just like he says," Jiang said. "[Coach Ngbea] has really been our inspiration all season. He's my hero."
Ngbea was pleased with the win. "Naturally, I'm very excited. A 7-0 win is good by any standard. However, we're still in learning mode," he said. "We still need to talk about our mistakes so that we don't beat ourselves. If we can minimize our mistakes, we should be ok."
Su expressed the team's hopes to move up to Division I this year, and said that the netmen are chasing the Division II title mercilessly. According to Su, after defeating Richard Montgomery High School, the Blazers' biggest rival, hopes for moving up are high. "We've been the favorite for two years now, but we lost in huge upsets. Three is a lucky number, and this may well be our year."
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 »