Holding down the number one spot

Holding down the number one spot

Eric Wong

Junior Amreet Mohanty has played number one singles for the boys varsity tennis team since freshman year

Ranked one of among the top 15 players in Northern California, junior Amreet Mohanty has been the undisputed number one singles player for the varsity boys tennis team since freshman year.  With his hard work and willingness to listen to constructive criticism, Mohanty has shown steady improvement throughout his three-year high school tennis career.  Junior Amreet Mohanty takes a powerful swing at the ball from the baseline.  He applies top spin to make the ball faster and harder to return.  Photo by Patrick Mi.

Even with all of his experience — having participated in highly competitive tournaments throughout the nation such as in Florida, Arizona, and Southern California where he plays against the top athletes in the nation in his age group — Mohanty has thus far been unable to break into the Central Coast Playoffs. 

"I came in fourth at the SCVAL tournament [as a sophomore] and you had to be in the top three to qualify for CCS," Mohanty said. 
Such stiff competition characterizes the high caliber play of local boys’ tennis. Mohanty faces players that are nationally ranked in the top 25 when the Matadors play against the likes of Saratoga and Palo Alto High School, but unfortunately, Mohanty usually ends up on the losing end of most of his matches. 

However, the varsity boys’ tennis coach, Bruce Becker, finds encouragement from Mohanty’s perseverance and speculates that Mohanty could overcome his competitors in the near future.

"For the last two years, [Mohanty] had been unable to defeat a particular player from Harker and it was nice to see [Mohanty] finally beat him.  As a coach, its nice to see him get better." Becker said. 

This achievement is a direct result of the work that Mohanty has done to improve his aggressive net play.  One of Mohanty’s goals for the season is to get a better sense of when he has a chance to run to the net in hopes of ending a rally and scoring a point. 

One of his teammates, junior Neeren Patki, takes note of Mohanty’s competitive spirit and appreciates his unique form of support. 

"He’s not rooting us on but since he usually finishes last, he’s watching from the side sometimes," Patki said.  "I think the Fresno tournament was the best since he was always there so he’d always be watching from the sidelines and he always was with the team." 

With all the hours that he has invested into tennis participating on the school team and participating in tournaments all year long, Mohanty hopes to continue his tennis career in college. 

"I [want to go to a] top division three school with great academic programs,"  Mohanty said.  "I’m looking at schools like Claremont McKenna, UChicago, and Washington University in St. Louis."

Mohanty’s ability to persevere through the tough competition in the league has kept him working hard in preparation for his upcoming matches.  Eventually, he hopes to find success in more of his matches this season and eventually qualify for the CCS playoffs.