Last Monday, the boys’ varsity tennis suffered a home loss against San Mateo High School, with M-A winning just two of the seven games. The long-awaited match was postponed several times and arrived on a day with strong winds, which proved a devastating challenge for the M-A boys.
Junior Oliver Novak and senior Mitchell Herbst, the number one doubles, were first off the court with a quick 6-0, 6-1 win. Novak reflected, “I think we played great. Both of us were on our A-game and worked very well as a team.”
Herbst added, “I feel like it destroyed their morale when I hit a low backhand volley winner right in between them. That’s the shot that sealed the game.”
Following this breezy win was a tough loss from singles four, sophomore Calvin Linnert,
2-6, 2-6. Luckily, doubles two brought another win. Senior Rylan Stern and junior Thomas Garff won their match 6-2, 6-1. Garff ended the match with a powerful overhead to the back left corner, hitting the final winner to close. Garff said, “We played alright. We made some mistakes, but played better than times prior. I think our key to success today was playing consistently and not making too many errors. That often dictates the match.”
The Bears quickly fell behind after two more tough losses from singles two and doubles three. Sophomore Frode Solem lost 6-0, 6-2, and junior Thomas Ellingson and senior Micah Robinson lost 6-2, 6-2. Robinson reflected, “I think we did okay, but San Mateo definitely outplayed us. We had some good points, but they just had more. The wind wasn’t in our favor, but we can’t control that.”
With the overall match still undecided at a score of 2-3, the boys’ fate fell onto singles one and singles three. Both matches were extremely tight, falling into split sets and requiring final tiebreakers to decide the match. Singles three senior Kiran Duriseti lost 7-5, 4-6, 5-10, ending his match with a nail-biting spectacle.
Although M-A’s loss was sealed, players still crowded the fence to cheer on number one singles, senior Alex Parikh-Briggs, during his close match. Briggs lost 4-6, 6-4, 8-10, but had an exceptional performance. Coach Tom Soronson said, “The one really noteworthy feature in today’s game was Alex’s performance. He took his opponent to the limit today, which was a big improvement from earlier in the year when he played against the same opponent. He’s a competitive person and gives his 100% when playing.”
Soronson reflected on the match, saying, “We were extremely competitive in all of the matches, and it was very, very close.”