Tennis team wins opening match 5-0 against Lakota West
Freddie Wilhelm | Staff Writer
Mason Men’s Tennis opened their season with a 5-0 sweep over Lakota West on April 4.
The Comets opened their season with a win against their Greater Miami Conference rival Firebirds. The game started optimistically, with Mason Tennis winning all of their opening sets. Later on, Mason’s second doubles team, juniors Diego Cepeda and Shashank Singuri, won both sets, giving them an early 1-0 lead.
The match, however, was highlighted by sophomore Shashank Reddy’s heated first singles match. Reddy said in a first singles spot, you must drive your team to perform at their best.
“I think when you’re playing first singles, you have to be a leader,” Reddy said. “You have to set an example not only with skill, but with work ethic and teamwork – you have to push others to be better and be an example.”
With the Comets already ahead, it was the first doubles team of sophomore Pranav Viswanath and senior Charlie MacKenzie who boosted Mason Tennis to a strong 2-0 lead, which was vital to complete their sweep of the Firebirds. After the doubles were over, and the singles were on their second set, the pressure was on. Seniors Phillip Krayterman and Duncan Mackenzie won both their sets, giving the Comets wins for their second and third singles spots respectively. Reddy said the pressure on him to finish the sweep was rough, and soon he was losing his set 1-3. Reddy said this growing tension helped him refocus and win.
“My team was counting on me,” Reddy said. “I took it one point at a time and did what I had to do for the win.”
This result gave Mason Tennis their first win of the year over their GMC rivals. Coach Mike Reid said the early season action prepared the team for the grind of the season to come.
“I’m not sure how the win will affect us,” Reid said. “We got some new guys and got to see them in action; we got Reddy used to playing matches for Mason again. We were playing a good GMC opponent, so it’s a nice start to the season.”
While Reid acknowledged his team played well after the sweep, he said Lakota never truly pushed the Comets to their limits.
“We’ve got a good team,” Reid said. “We played well, and it was great stuff, but we weren’t under a lot of pressure and our matches weren’t very close. In tennis, the difference is how well your team plays when they’re under pressure.”
Although they found that Tuesday was not too challenging, Reid said their matches on Saturday would be a real test of strength.
“I think we’re going to find out how good we are on Saturday,” Reid said. “We have some tough matches against New Albany and St. Charles, so we’ll know how good we are after that. We haven’t played enough close games to see what the guys are made of, but we’ll find out soon.”