The Bull's Eye

Brahmas raise expectations

BOYS TENNIS With the return of ten players, the team looks to repeat as league champions.

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Brahmas raise expectations

Sophomore Adarsh Belliganud is one of two returning singles players.

Sophomore Adarsh Belliganud is one of two returning singles players.

INGRID CHAN

Sophomore Adarsh Belliganud is one of two returning singles players.

INGRID CHAN

INGRID CHAN

Sophomore Adarsh Belliganud is one of two returning singles players.

Ryan Chae, Sports Editor

Following an immensely successful season that saw the Diamond Bar High School boys tennis team win the Palomares League, earn multiple honors and reach the quarterfinals of CIF, the Brahmas have set their goals even higher for the 2018 season.

“I think the expectations are, rightfully so, pretty high. We should do either the same or better this year,” head coach Carl Flint said. “We’re actually deeper this year. Everyone has grown bigger, stronger and faster, so I expect big things this year.”

This season, the team is playing without 2017 league singles MVP Neil Tengbumroong and doubles player Vinay Bhupathiraju as the two graduated last year. However, the team looks to be even stronger than ever as those two seniors  were the only players to leave the varsity team. Among the returning starters is the league MVP doubles team of senior captain Nicholas Wong and junior Royce Park.

“We’ve returned ten out of 12 players from last year, so we’re filling in the gaps. Our doubles is really strong because five out of six starters returned,” Wong said. “Singles is always a struggle, with or without Neil. It’s always difficult because everyone always gets better in league.”

The doubles lineup for the Brahmas has been one of their strong points in the past years, and the upcoming season looks to be no different. Returning with Park and Wong is the No. 1 team, consisted of seniors Michael Tran and Eric Peng, and the No.3 team of senior Howard Chen and junior Victor Chai.

In the singles lineup, it’s no question that Tengbumroong, who played in singles for all four years, left a void, but junior Ethan Chen has filled in quite comfortably as his replacement.

“[Chen] has always had the big game, but he’s always had these great players above him. This year, he’s ready. He’s playing well and found his game,” Flint said.

Alongside Chen in the singles lineup are sophomores Adarsh Belliganud and Akilan Arunachalanan. Though their age  may say they’re green, their play says otherwise. The two underclassmen started for team last year, even playing throughout the CIF playoffs.

However, it still took some fine tuning for the boys, starting off the preseason with a 12-6 loss to Beckman. Since then, the Brahmas have found their groove and improved every week, winning four straight games, including a dominant 16-2 victory over Crean Lutheran.

Playing their first league game today against Bonita, the Brahmas have high hopes and full belief in this year’s seasoned lineup.

“League is going to be very close this year. Glendora still has two of their best singles players, Claremont lost two of their best double players and one of their best singles players and Ayala has a lot of really good upperclassmen,” Wong said. “It’s definitely going to be interesting, but I have complete confidence we can win league this year.”

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