The varsity boys tennis team is hopeful this season after a victorious match against Hamden Hall Country Day School and a strong performance at the KO Invitational Tournament.
The boys earned a well-fought victory against Hamden Hall on April 3 with a score of 7-0. Junior Luke Reimann, senior Captain William Appleton, freshman Adam Na, eighth-grader Max-William Kanz, freshman Jaden Weinstein, and senior Nat Bates played No. 1-6 singles, respectively. Sophomore Avi Shastri and Na earned the No. 1 doubles victory. Overall, they played great and started the season off strong.
Head Coach Andrew Krugman said that KO played really well and fought hard. “We won pretty convincingly,” he said. “Due to injuries and absences we went deep into our lineup.”
The team then went on to play in the anticipated and competitive 46th Annual Kingswood Oxford Invitational Tennis Tournament (K.I.T.T.) on April 7 and 8. In this elite tournament, KO placed fourth out of eight schools.
The following schools participated in this tournament: Groton School, Choate Rosemary Hall, Hotchkiss School, Kingswood Oxford School, Deerfield Academy, Lawrenceville School, Westminster School, and Hall High School.
The highlight of this tournament was Appleton and Riemann winning the No. 1 doubles title by beating Groton School in the finals. Groton School captured the win at this tournament.
Appleton also came in fourth in the No. 2 singles draw, and Riemann won the consolation draw of the No. 1 singles draw. Kanz came in third place in No. 4 singles. “The KITTs were tough since we were a young team, and other teams were older and more experienced,” Appleton said.
The team faced a tough loss to Deerfield Academy on April 11 with a score of 6-1. Deerfield Acedemy won at No. 2 and No. 3 doubles, but the duo of Appleton and Riemann won the No. 1 doubles. The strong and experienced Deerfield team also won all of their singles matches, except for No. 1 singles which Riemann won at a tie-breaker. The team then earned an impressive 7-0 victory against Gunnery School on Saturday, April 14.
Coach Krugman said that the team’s strength is Appleton’s leadership. Coach Krugman said that Appleton is an ideal student athlete and it is his sixth year on the varsity team. Appleton said that the team’s strength is its ability to win any match at any position, anytime. “Appleton sets the right tone and works hard,” Coach Krugman said.
Coach Krugman said that his goals for this year are to improve, represent KO well, and get an invitation to the New England Class A Tournament.
Appleton said the team is focused on making the New England tournament and doing well there. He said that the team also plays in side tournaments this season, and he wants the team to do well in those. “We want to win as many matches as possible,” Appleton said. Appleton said that the team needs to make sure they are staying healthy, since there are not many spare players on the team. He said that the players need to take care of their bodies so they are in the best shape possible.
Coach Krugman said that there is a learning curve with new players on varsity tennis. He said that the team graduated four skilled seniors last year, so a number of players are being thrown into varsity competition. He said that the team has been playing well so far, but there are definently going to be ups and downs due to new athletes playing at this level of competition. “Experience will be the best teacher,” said Coach Krugman.