Boys tennis sets their eyes on Regionals

Blake Bailey

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Doubles partners junior Utkarsh Srivastava and senior Nick Bloch prepare to field a serve during their April 8 game against Whitman HS. The Wildcats look to bounce back from a mixed season come Regionals.

Led by Coach Chad Beswick, a beloved Physical Education teacher at the school, the varsity boys tennis team has seen a turbulent start to their campaign. Although they were unable to win any of their regular-season divisional matches, with states coming up in early May, the Wildcats look to get back on track and go deep in the tournament.
With tennis’ unique approach to Regional/State competitions, they just might. The varsity boys program can choose one boy’s single, boy’s double or mixed boy’s and girl’s double to compete on behalf of the program. For states this year, the boys will likely send senior Justin Davids to represent the school in mixed doubles. Entering the final stretch of the season, the team looks to rattle off some wins as their schedule eases with matches against Damascus and Paint Branch.
“Our number one guy, Justin, is a really talented player. I look forward to seeing him play the best players in the county and compete with them… come out and support our singles players and come see our Doubles players. Doubles matches are so exciting and have lots of rallies and action at the net. It’s really fun,” Beswick said.
Other season standouts thus far include freshmen Matthew Tan, senior captain Nick Bloch and freshmen Isaac Kritz, who’ve all posted winning records in their respective matches.
“Though we lack depth this season, we show promise as many of our players are underclassmen… most of them freshmen,” Bloch said.
The team’s youth is apparent when regarding their exuberant attitude towards the game.
“Growing up playing tennis you’re usually by yourself but not at WJ, I love the team environment. The team’s energetic and fun to watch. As for coaching, Beswick’s a dog… He’s a beast. Very laid back and chill… great personality. You love playing for him,” Tan said.
However, with the focus of spring sports largely on Lacrosse and Track, many students find themselves uninformed about the status of the team. Pair that with a game schedule that frequently features early 3:30 matches and the result is often sparse fan sections.
“Playing with fans and cheers energizes you to perform to your best ability… as a hockey player, I miss it… Having some fans out there would definitely give us a boost,” junior Utkarsh Srivasata said.
The student body shares similar remarks; however, they call out the school for a lack of team support.
“I have one or two friends on the squad, but I don’t know much about the season… I liked them in the pep-rally, they seemed to be fun, but I feel the school should promote them more with their upcoming matches, especially with Regionals coming up,” incoming SGA President junior Ethan Mendes said.