Slow start leads to takeoff

Boys Tennis: The team has not met its own standards, but is picking up speed as the season progresses.


Calvin Ru

Junior Neil Tengbumroong hits a serve against El Dorado High School.

Calvin Ru, Asst, Photo Editor

While Diamond Bar High School’s boys varsity  tennis team hasn’t lived up to its expectations, they still maintain a 6-4 record prior to Monday’s game against Bonita. Adjusting to changes in the roster and the coaching staff, the boys are working to get back on track and win the remaining matches.

With the new coaching staff, the team needed to experiment with different players in the singles and doubles positions. With the roster finalized, the boys dominated opponents El Dorado, 13-5, but also sustained close losses too, including a game against Claremont 11-7.

“With tennis, a lot of people think it’s an individual sport. Every single person is instrumental to [the team’s] success,” senior captain Garrett Masuda said.

Games won by team members result in a greater accumulation of points that contribute to winning each meet. Junior Neil Tengbumroong, a singles player and nationally ranked tennis player, often wins all three of his sets, which greatly helps the team secure wins. Senior David Chee and sophomore Michael Tran, a doubles pair, have also steadily improved and begun “clicking,” as Masuda stated, while stepping up their performance to win more sets.

“We have learned from our mistakes. We are getting off to better starts which have been rewarding in the end,” junior Vinay Bhupathiraju said via Facebook. “At practice, we focus more on perfecting our strokes and improving our game play. The new coaches are showing us different tactics and views on how to approach different scenarios.”

Practices alternate between conditioning and honing their basics in footwork and swings. Doubles members work on strategies and movement around the court while focusing on ball placements. In contrast, singles players work more on pinpointing the ball and not being bullied around the court and controlling their opponents instead.

“If you’re giving it your all at practice, putting in all your energy and all your work, then [the team] tends to follow. I try to stay positive and keep the energy high,” Masuda said.

The boys will play Ayala High School tomorrow and a second round against Claremont on Monday; by winning those two matches, the team would be tied for the league title.