Patriots edge Blazers

April 15, 2005, midnight | By Nick Falgout | 15 years, 9 months ago

Division rival Wootton hands boys' tennis its first loss


The boys' tennis team lost its first match of the season to the talented Wootton Patriots in heart-breaking fashion: they beat themselves. Blair lost the match 4-3, falling to 3-1 on the season, on a pair of very winnable games.

In the first and ultimately decisive match-up, singles player Eric Su dropped two straight sets after winning the first set to Wootton's Grant Houghton. The second and more disappointing loss involved number one doubles team Edward Hsieh and Gregory Howard losing their match despite having a three games to none lead in the third set. Singles players Michael Hsu and Jordan Fein and doubles team Michael Tsai and Andy Jiang accounted for the Blair wins. Hsu and Fein both dispatched their singles opponents in straight sets (6-3, 6-0 and 6-4, 6-0, respectively), while the doubles team end up on the winning side of a hard fought match (7-5, 5-7, 6-4).

Coach David Ngbea was disappointed with the team's performance. "We lost a match we should have won," Ngbea said. "We should have won 5-2." Ngbea said that only the number one singles game, which Blair's Hailiu Yang lost 6-1, 6-0, and the number three doubles game, which Blair's James Wallace and Amirudh Babu lost 6-0, 6-2, should have ended up as losses. The others, Ngbea said, the Blazers had "no reason to lose."

Ngbea was particularly disconcerted with the performance of his number one doubles team. Up three games to none in the third set of the number one doubles game, and with a break point to go up four games to none, Blair captain Hsieh hit a backhand shot into the net, which forced a deuce that Wootton eventually turned into a win. "This is a game of… you have to use your brain cells," said Ngbea, who was disappointed by Hsieh's lack of positioning on the shot. The pair, Hsieh and Howard, were on serve for the fifth game, but double-faulted the entire game to give Wootton the serve back with the game score at three games to two. "You can't just become complacent," said Ngbea. "If I lost a point I have to know how to rectify that situation."

The loss was also the first in the division for the Blazers this year, who fell to 1-1 in divisional play. What was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the netmen has started off rather well despite the tough loss.

Blair's next home match is against Churchill on April 19, at 3:30 p.m.

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