Boys tennis continues strong season with 4-3 win over Palo Alto

Boys tennis continues strong season with 4-3 win over Palo Alto

Dickson Tsai

The Matadors dominate the singles matches to beat Palo Alto



The rain last week did nothing to slow down the Matadors, as they got off to a fast start in the first game of their first three-game series on March 29.

The Matadors (7-3, 5-1), took three out of the four singles matches as they defeated the Palo Alto Vikings 4-3 (9-6, 1-6). MVHS was close to winning by a bigger margin, but had two games that ended in final set tiebreaker losses.Senior Amreet Mohanty prepares to smash the tossed ball for his serve. Mohanty won against the Vikings' freshman Austin Leung 6-0, 6-3. Photo by Cynthia Mao.

“We still won, but we should have won by at least 6-1, or maybe 7-0,” head coach Bruce Becker said. “4-3 is as good as 7-0 but we had a tough time.”

The doubles matches proved to be the toughest for the Matadors because the doubles players for Palo Alto were much more experienced. While MVHS played strong, the Vikings had the upper hand, winning two of the three doubles matches.

Senior Amreet Mohanty, junior Nathan Law and freshman Edward Ang all continued their strong seasons by winning their singles matches.

Number one singles: Senior Amreet Mohanty wins against Palo Alto freshman Austin Leung (6-0, 6-3)

With the wind, Mohanty’s strong serves gave him the early leverage over Leung to win in straight sets. Leung, meanwhile, had trouble executing his shots.

“The wind was pretty gusty, I was off, and he played better,” Leung said. “His serves…he was hitting a lot of aces.”

Leung fought back against Mohanty, as Leung began reducing his errors. Mohanty, however, stuck to his powerful shots to help him win in straight sets.

Number two singles: Junior Nathan Law defeats Palo Alto freshman Blake Smith (6-0, 6-0)

Law took control of the game quickly, forcing Smith to run around the court. Without unforced errors, Law jumped to quick leads, winning games quickly.Junior Nathan Law focuses in on the ball as he swings with his backhand. Law swept his opponent freshman Blake Smith 6-0, 6-0. Photo by Cynthia Mao.

“I think I served really well, which was important for me to win,” Law said. “I also managed to rally well, so I played overall pretty good.”

Law was more comfortable with the pace of this match, allowing him to hit the ball with more strength and precision than the faster opponents he faced earlier this year. Just like Mohanty, Law took little time to win his two sets.

“The last games, I just tried to be defensive, making the opponent miss the shots instead of me going for my shots, but today I made him miss by hitting heavier balls,” Law said.

Number one doubles: Sophomore Jeremy Liu and senior Ryan Mui lose to Palo Alto seniors Lucas Fodor and Scott Monismith (4-6, 6-3, 6-7 (5-7))

Liu and Mui faced a tough duo Fodor and Monismith, both seniors, and fell behind early. While their focus allowed them to take advantage of Fodor and Monismith’s lapses of concentration, it was not enough to overcome the Viking duo’s strength.

In the second set, Liu and Mui’s team play solidified, and they were able to compete better against Fodor and Monismith. While the Vikings duo hit shots just as hard as in the first set, Liu and Mui were able to return them, prolonging the rally and forcing them to make mistakes.

Both the third set and the tiebreak were neck-to-neck, but at the final point, Fodor and Monismith were able to clinch the match with a shot that was just out of reach of Liu and Mui.

Number three singles: Senior Edwin Chan loses to Palo Alto junior Dar Bareket-Shavit after third set tiebreaker

Senior Edwin Chan prepares to hit a forehand during his pre-game warm-up. Chan fell to Vikings junior Dar Bareket-Shavit after losing the third-set tiebreaker. Photo by Cynthia Mao.Chan lost a close first set 5-6, but was able to win the next set. However, with the two players exchanging games in the third set, the tiebreaker that followed went to Bareket-Shavit.

Both players were evenly matched. Bareket-Shavit had command of his spin shots and shots down the line, while Chan was able to win points with his strong forehand and serves.

“When [Chan] focuses, he plays really well, he hits solid balls,” Becker said. “His serve was really good, serving well; his forehand was his power.”

Bareket-Shavit’s double faults in the third set proved costly as he kept Chan in the game.

Chan had many opportunities near the end to win the game. He held serve and a 5-3 lead late in the third set, but Bareket-Shavit capitalized on a break point to cut Chan’s lead to one. He would later even the game at 5-5.

Then, Chan went on another run, smashing a forehand at 40-love to put himself up 6-5.  In the next game, three straight unforced errors by Chan allowed Bareket-Shavit to even back the last set at 6-6.

While Chan got a few forehand winners in the tiebreaker round, Bareket-Shavit hit well-placed shots that Chan had trouble returning, winning the tiebreaker.

Number four singles: Freshman Edward Ang wins against Palo Alto sophomore Philipp De Fries (6-0, 6-1)

Ang started strong against De Fries, a German exchange student of the Vikings, notching yet another win at the number four singles spot this season.

“He’s doing well,” Becker said. “He a good ol’ player; he can be one of our top players.”

He had much more trouble in the second set, as De Fries fought back in each game, leading to several deuces. However, Ang still continued with his aggressive shots to stay ahead.

“I just put more pressure on him, hit harder, more spin,” Ang said. “He just like gave in.”

De Fries was filling in for senior Chirag Krishna, who did not play in the match. Krishna would have played No. 3, but Bareket-Shavit took his place by moving up from No. 4 to No. 3 while De Fries moved to Bareket-Shavit’s old position.

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Juniors Alan Nguyen and Ryunosuke Goto lost their number two doubles match 2-6, 2-6. In the number three doubles match, sophomores Jonathan Tsao and Sudev Chaluvadi won in three sets to clinch the victory for the Matadors.

Freshman Saxon Day, normally the player for number two doubles, was out with the flu.

“[Day], freshman who plays two doubles, has been sick, and he’s a good player, so that hurt our team,” Becker said.

MVHS had defeated Palo Alto earlier last week, sliding by 4-3 as well at Palo Alto last week on March 22.

UPDATE: The Matadors won the next two games against Gunn and Saratoga to now claim sole first place in the league. The Matadors will return home to host Gunn High School on April 5.

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