Tennis perseveres in a stacked division


Joey Matsuzawa, Sports Editor

Despite being in one of the most competitive divisions in the state, KingCo 4A, the tennis team’s strong mental game and depth of skill has kept them alive throughout the season. For the last three years, players from the KingCo 4A division have taken two of the top three spots in singles and doubles at the state tournament.

Ending the season with an overall record of 6-5 and a divisional record of 4-4, senior first singles and captain Tobin Hansen says that was where they expected the team to perform.

“We ended up on the lower range of where we expected to be,” Hansen said.

The team was able to have close matches against Newport and Skyline High Schools, schools that normally win big. This is due to their great depth,skill and strategy in each match.

“This year’s team was way more solid [than last year] because the difference [in skill] between the bottom and the top was very little,” senior first doubles player Gokul Gowri said.

Gowri, along with his fellow first doubles partner, sophomore James Peng, played a vital role in the team’s success.

“In tennis you play seven matches: four singles and three doubles. [Because] we had a really strong doubles lineup, that meant we would only need to win one singles match in order to win the meet,” senior captain Ben Tinker said.

The team of Gowri and Peng won the majority of their matches by manipulating their opponents, “tilting” them. Tilting occurs when a player’s mental game begins to negatively affect their physical game.

“Tennis is 90% mental and 10% physical,” Hansen said.

The depth of the team proved to be vital, as the lower seeded players were able to beat the other team’s lower seeded players. For example, at the beginning of the season when playing for seeding, Peng beat Hansen, who beat Gowri, who beat Peng. Even though Peng would go on to play doubles, he was able to beat Hansen, the eventual first singles player and was a 2014-15 first team all-KingCo player.

Even though all of the players from Inglemoor lost in the second round of districts, the team still feels that they accomplished what they set out to do: prove that they could compete in a stacked division.