With a focus on team camaraderie and their doubles game, Boys Varsity Tennis (BVT) ended their season with a record of 17–3, falling short of the Independent School League (ISL) title by one point in a game versus Belmont Hill (BH) on May 27.
BVT went in to the nal contest with a record of 13–1 in the ISL, so they had to defeat the 14–0 Belmont Hill team to split the ISL championship. In what Max Haigney ’18 called a hard fought game, the match concluded with an 8–7 loss.
Although one goal of Co-Captain Tristan Young ’17 was to win the championship, his primary hope was to develop team unity. In past years, he said, the group was more individual-oriented.
“We were working together to be more of a close-knit team, where everyone was out there cheering for each other,” he said. “Being part of a team that supports each other is de nitely better than playing alone.”
Co-Captain Gary Rasin ’17 agreed, specifying that his goal for the team was to create an environment in which players could rely on each other.
“Tennis is a very individual sport when you’re playing by yourself throughout the year,” he said. “We want it to be like we’re playing for each other, which is an important factor in our success each season.”
Gary added that his personal goal this season as one of the oldest players in the group was to be a catalyst for the team.
“The younger kids look up to us [captains] to be those leaders and put in the work and practice and show them what the right way to do it is,” Gary said. “We hope to encourage the team to play really
well, but also to work really hard on cooperating and supporting each other.”
BVT Assistant Coach Joe Finelli said he focused this season on coaching the boys’ mentality and focus.
“The coaches try to make it painfully obvious to the guys that when they think they’ll have an easy match, they might not,” he said. “The idea is to expose these guys to the reality of high-level competition so they don’t end up becoming complacent.”
Head Coach Steve Counihan said he focused more intently this season on creating compatible doubles teams to expand the team’s strengths.
“Our strategies this season included trying di erent combinations to utilize our strengths and doubles skills,” he said. “Really combining each player’s experience in doubles with their overall talent can be hard because of how di erent each player is.”
The doubles match against St. Sebastian’s on April 29 turned the team’s season around, Coach Counihan added, because it garnered wins from both old and young players. The boys came back from losing 5–0 and ended the match with an 8–7 win.
“It’s great to have these younger players that are playing excellently, too, even though they can be sometimes a few years younger than their opponents,” he said. “It’s a bright thing for any team to have a record like we do without any seniors.”
Tristan identi ed the cooperation of the team as very important to their success.
“The eminence of the team’s work ethic has de nitely evolved in the past couple of years,” Tristan said. “It really shows our team’s cooperation in being more on the same page about attitude towards the sport and playing more for each other.”