Komatineni will be counted on to lead young Comet tennis team

Cody Allgor | Staff Writer

Senior Niraj Komatineni talks about the new team for this upcoming season.

Young.

That’s the word that describes this year’s Mason Boys Tennis Team.

After winning the Ohio Tennis Coaches Association (OTCA) state title and going undefeated last year, the team lost multiple key seniors – including Shashank Singuri, Vishnu Srinath, and Pavan Vattyam. Fortunately, many talented freshmen joined the program this year with the goal of continuing the winning tradition Mason tennis has established and bringing home an- other state championship.

One of those freshmen, Vignesh Gogineni, who will play singles this season, knows that it will be a challenge to replace such a talented senior class but he feels the younger players are ready to do what it takes to get the team back to state.

“I think we can win state,” Gogineni said. “Definitely got to let the seniors do what they can do and also us freshman, we have to build upon what they have to do and support them in any way we can.”

While many of these freshmen are used to success from competing in individual tournaments, Head Coach Mike Reid knows he has to teach his younger players how individual play will impact the team’s results. Reid said the players have to learn the importance of the change for the freshman from individual play to playing with a team.

“It’s all about our freshmen, how quickly they develop and getting good at playing high school team tennis,” Reid said. “It’s a different type of atmosphere, playing at a team environment then it is at individual tournaments. We were really good at that last year and I’m hoping that we come together and get really good at it this year.”

Senior singles player Niraj Komantineni, a Brown University commit, returns to lead the Comet tennis team this season.

Senior Aneesh Zutshi, who figures to play a critical role at first doubles this year, believes that this team can match last year’s undefeated mark but that it should not be their focus.

“I think we can go undefeated again, but we can’t be too caught up in, ‘oh, last year we went undefeated,’” Zutshi said. “If we ever struggle in a match we have to keep our heads up and realize that we can’t be expected to play our best every day, but can still put out our best effort and find different ways to win. If we do that and we’re always there for each other, especially the freshman that haven’t necessarily played the big matches, we’ll have a really good shot of going undefeated again.”

Senior Niraj Komatineni, a Brown University commit who will be playing as the top player for this team, explained that this young team works hard and should not be underestimated.

“The fact that we are young and still really high in the preseason rankings means that we have a lot of talent on this team and it’s really exciting,” Komatineni said. “I think some teams might underestimate us when we might have two or three freshmen in the starting line up, but I wouldn’t doubt these kids. They work hard and they are here to play.”

Photo by Tanner Pearson.

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