By Blake Krantz
Boys’ Tennis, 6-7, is “definitely stronger as a team” compared to the beginning of the season, despite what the team’s record may suggest, according to senior Cameron Schoettle, a captain with seniors Owen Grafe and Jonny Levenfeld.
Schoettle explained, among other improvements made during the season, that the Tigers’ “more defined lineup and much better consistency” have contributed to the team’s development throughout the spring.
Grafe added that the team has been playing some of their “best tennis” of late, and that the team’s “focus on court” has been and will be a key in increasingly important matches near the end of the season, especially for the team’s starters.
“Each starter has worked hard on dealing with pressure and how to play with it,” leading to “close, hard-fought, and ultimately won matches as a result.”
In the coming days, the Tigers will have to win two out of their final three matches to make the State Tournament. The team’s final competitors are Weymouth, Milton, and Brookline.
Brookline especially is a match which Schoettle said would be “difficult but not impossible” for the Tigers to win.
According to coach Phil Goldberg, the return of several injured players has helped make practices more effective, which has translated to the team’s improvement on the court.
“The team has worked hard and that has paid off in regards to competing better with the stronger teams, and hopefully [the team is] peaking at the right time.”
The Tigers recently suffered close losses to Sharon and Needham, good competition which “should have beat us outright,” according to Grafe. But, as Grafe explained, the team has made its matches close, forcing talented teams to “work for their victories.”
On the competition that the Tigers have faced throughout this season, Schoettle said that the team does not “give up on matches,” and that they have been able to “bring [matches] back with each point” when down several games or even a set.
Goldberg hopes that the improvement of late will help the Tigers “upset some of the higher seeded teams,” if they are able to qualify for the State Tournament.
As mentioned, the Tigers need to win two of three and finish 8-8 to qualify for the tournament, a result which Grafe said the team “expects” in the final week of the regular season.