By STEVEN BARAN
The UHS Varsity Boys Tennis team faced two non-league powerhouses this past week as the players looked to continue their pre-league dominance.
The Trojans began their week with a grudge match against an experienced and competitive Fountain Valley (FVHS) team, a team they beat last year.
“We knew going into the Fountain Valley match that they were not going to give up easily, especially after we beat them in Hollywood fashion last year,” said Benjamin Sui (Jr.). The team beat FVHS 16-2.
Despite its quest for vengeance, FVHS was not able to overcome UHS’s dominant play. Sui and Tommy Wang (Sr.) played exceptionally well and put in phenomenal matches that contributed to the team’s decisive victory.
The Trojans moved on from their victory against FVHS to a much harder matchup against Dana Hills (DHHS) on Thursday, March 17.
“Dana is always a tough team to beat due to their experienced coaching staff, and I am really proud of how our guys overcame the adversity,” said head coach Mr. John Kessler (Social Science Dept.)
The Trojans left Dana Point after another dominant showing, beating the team 16-2.
“Going into the Dana Hills match, we were very confident that we were going to gain a victory,” said Josh Piatos (Sr.). “We placed younger guys in and gave players opportunities to show what they can do. All our younger players played well.”
The Boys Tennis team is UHS’s most successful team, and has consistently won CIF championships in the past few years. As a result, the team has high expectations. Last year, it failed to live up to its past, and only made it to the quarterfinals of CIF. However, the team is eager to redeem itself and hopes to do better this season.
“The team dynamic last year wasn’t strong and that could have led to some of our problems. If we are going to make it to CIF finals and go deep into tournaments, we all have to be a team,” Piatos added.
Piatos is optimistic ahead of the upcoming season. He said, “I can say that, for the most part, this is the best team environment I have experienced at UNI. We all push each other to the limit and set high expectations for one another.”
The team hopes to continue its winning streak this year with a strong performance at the National All-American Tournament on March 25.