A bittersweet end to a hopeful season

TENNIS: The Diamond Bar tennis team ended the season in second place in league with a record of 8-2. The year came to an end with a CIF playoff loss.

Stuart Kusdono, Asst. Opinion Editor

The Diamond Bar boys varsity tennis team smashed their way into the CIF playoffs and won its first game in the postseason, but was stopped in the third round.

Following the end of the regular season, the team did not have to participate in the wildcard round of the playoffs as they were ranked higher than the lower half of the bracket.

Last Wednesday, the Brahmas defeated Charter Oak in the second round of CIF, dominating 18-0.

However, the Brahmas’ playoff hopes ended in the third round  last Friday with a 13-5 loss against Crean Lutheran High School.

The team also participated in the Palomares League Individuals Tournament which determined who would move on to CIF individuals.

In doubles, senior David Chee and sophomore Michael Tran finished third and junior Neil Tengbumroong swept the league finals, winning the final round 7-6 and 6-2, thus becoming the league champion. He will move on to CIF individuals.

In addition, Tengbumroong played in the prestigious Ojai tournament. In a close and tough first round match, Tengbumroong ultimately lost but hopes to participate in the tournament again next year.

This season, the team came just short of winning the Palomares League title after losing a crucial match against the Claremont Wolfpack, 11-7, finishing with an 8-2 record and taking second in the league.

The other loss also was against the Wolfpack, 10-8.

“It was a really close match. All of the guys gave it their all, but in the end, we didn’t get the W,” senior captain Masuda said, regarding the match against Claremont on March 21.

The team’s final league match was a dominating victory against the Glendora Tartans, 15-3, on April 28.

This season, the team had to adapt to the coaching methods and style of new head coach Carl Flint, who brought in more interactive game and match play.

“For doubles, it’s mainly about practice, practice, practice,” Masuda said. “For singles, it’s mostly a mental game from here. Physically, we’re at the point we want to be, so we’re discussing strategies.”

The Diamond Bar boys varsity tennis team will be facing additional changes next season as its top playing seniors leave for college.

Notably, No. 1 doubles player David Chee, No. 2 doubles player Austin Chang, and No. 1 singles player Masuda will be leaving.

“A lot of guys from JV will have to step up,” Masuda said. “The guys that are on the bench right now in varsity will have to fill up the top positions.”