Brahmas reach quarterfinals

BOYS TENNIS Winning the Palomares League with a 9-1 record, the team plays in the playoffs.


Amelie Lee

Freshman Akilan Arunachalam and doubles team of sophomore Victor Chai and junior Michael Tran (from left) on the court.

Ryan Chae, Sports Editor

For the second straight season, the Diamond Bar High School tennis team has reached the third round of the CIF Playoffs. On Monday, the Brahmas faced Redlands in the CIF Quarterfinals.

The team reached the third round after shutting out Simi Valley, 18-0 on May 10, and beating out West Torrance in a close 10-8 match on May 12. It was one of the boys’ closest games of the year. The score was 8-7 before the final sets for the doubles teams of sophomore Victor Chai and junior Michael Tran, junior Nicholas Wong and sophomore Royce Park, and senior Vinay Bhupathiraju and junior Eric Peng.

“I’m very glad we made it through the round of 16. We fought really hard in a close match against a very tough team,” junior Nicholas Wong said.

The boys entered the playoffs as Palomares League Co-Champions after posting a 9-1 record. The team’s only loss came against the Claremont Wolfpack, 11-7, which ended a nine-game win streak. The Brahmas finished the regular season with a 13-5 victory over Bonita.

During the season, Tran, originally a singles player, switched with freshman Akilan Arunachalam to pair up with his current partner, Chai. According to Wong, the decision was made due to Tran’s experience and aggressiveness as well as the need for more points in doubles.

After the regular season, the team participated at league finals on May 2 and 4. All three doubles teams were eliminated at quarterfinals for league doubles, while Arunachalam and freshman Aadarsh Belliganud were also eliminated. However, senior Neil Tengbumroong was able to win the entire bracket for singles.

At the finals, Wong and Park were named the Palomares League Doubles MVP while Tengbumroong won Singles MVP. The three were voted by panel of all the head coaches in league. “I feel like [Park and I] worked hard for [MVP], and it showed…I know there’s been a lot of mistakes and improvements. It feels cool to get affirmation from all the other coaches in the league,” Wong said.

Surrounded by the grueling atmosphere of playoffs, the boys knew that the competition would get much  tougher.  

“We need to stay away from being cocky because now that we’re in CIF, every team is a good team. We can’t let ourselves mess up. We have to minimize our mistakes,” Wong said.