Boys tennis team undertakes a strenuous season


Senior and first singles player Adam Walter prepares for an underhand shot during his match against Bothell. Photo courtesy of Jim Orr.

Link Gazey and Ishika Kaushik

As the boys tennis team approaches the end of their season, they remain undefeated with four wins and zero losses. This year, the team began a season that has been both challenging and exciting for the athletes. Regardless of COVID-19 restrictions, senior athletes have the opportunity to play in their final year.

This year’s sports season is like no other. In accordance with the Governor and Department of Health’s Road Map to Recovery metrics, athletes are currently required to wear masks and follow COVID-19 social distancing rules even during practice.

“This gets tough since all of us just want to relax and have fun without worrying about Corona,” senior Adam Walter said.

Some players are not as accustomed to wearing masks while playing as others and thus have been having a harder time playing during games.

“I’ve been playing in masks longer than most people, but the others’ stamina drains faster than mine since they can’t breathe as well,” junior Alan Babadzhanov said.

Apart from the COVID-19 situation, Babadzhanov said he and other players have had to deal with challenges related to getting to practice and games due to the construction of the concert hall at Inglemoor.

“This year, the Inglemoor courts are being remodeled, so we have to go to Kenmore Middle School. For some people, like me, it’s farther than Inglemoor,” Babadzhanov said. “The bus can’t transport to schools. I have to drive for 30 minutes to get to North Creek High School.”

Moreover, senior Anand Ochirnyam said that having to play at the middle school has led to challenges during practice.

“A challenge we are facing as a team is having to practice at the middle schools which have less courts, meaning we have to be more efficient with our practices,” Ochirnyam said.

Despite the current situation, Ochirnyam said the athletes are grateful to have the opportunity to play in their senior season. The players are missing out on certain team traditions but they remain dedicated to the game, with an undefeated season thus far. Many have been training year-round and aspire to play in college as well.

“I miss some of the traditions we did as a team like eating together at a restaurant and practicing with both Varsity and JV together on the same courts. I look forward to the rest of the season though it’s really short, but it’s nice to be able to play tennis in my senior year,” Ochirnyam said.

Looking ahead, as Babadzhanov said, the tennis team has a lot to look forward to.

“Everyone obviously misses the seniors from last year, but we’re all excited for the future of Inglemoor tennis as we have a lot of potential,“ Babadzhanov said.

Ochirnyam said that the team has been playing well and the players have been very encouraging to one another. The team secured their fourth consecutive win against Woodinville on March 18.

“Our four singles players have been performing very well and winning their games against their opponents. And also, the team is really high in spirits and supportive for each other,” Ochirnyam said.