Tennis meets their match

TENNIS Despite another early exit from CIF, the boys achieved many league awards.

Despite being undefeated in the Mt. Baldy League, Diamond Bar High School’s boys tennis team lost 17-1 in the first round of CIF team play to Beckman, a team it lost to in the preseason. This was the second year in a row that the boys have been unable to advance past the first round of CIF.

“I wanted to win, but knowing that we were coming out of a league that was nowhere near Beckman’s caliber, we knew we were not going to win,” senior team captain Royce Park said.

Besides losing in the first round of CIF, single players juniors Ethan Chen and Akilan Arunachalam competed in CIF Individuals on May 17. Arunachalam was able to advance to the second round of individuals while Chen only competed in the first round.

The team of Park and fellow senior captain Victor Chai qualified for individuals, but were unable to attend due to other commitments such as AP testing and out-of -state family events.

“I’m definitely proud of my team because [a] majority of the league awards came to DBHS, including me winning MVP,” Park said. “This season, the team chemistry was amazing because we hyped each other up and I feel like that contributed to us doing well.”

Besides the training implemented by first year head coach Troy Wong, a lack of competition in the Mt. Baldy League also contributed to the team’s success during season.

DBHS dominated every league match, and its closest competitor was Montclair, who was defeated by Diamond Bar 15-3 and 16-2 during league season.

“Montclair actually surprised us and showed us that they can actually play tennis, and [they] gave us good competition,” Park said.

The team’s other accomplishments include beating Don Lugo, 13-0 and 18-0; Chino, 18-0 and 18-0; Ontario, 17-1 and 14-4; and Chaffey 18-0 and 16-2 earlier this season.

“We were definitely used to just being able to hit the ball over and win the point; we definitely underestimated the teams we played,” Park said. “That attitude didn’t help us in CIF though.”

With graduation around the corner, seniors like Park are reflecting on what they have learned and accomplished while playing for the DBHS boys tennis team.

“Without tennis, I wouldn’t know how to handle myself in certain situations where I am under pressure, because tennis puts you under pressure a lot and the sport has taught me to deal with it,” Park said. “I would be a very stressed out person without tennis in my life.”