Boys tennis season is in full swing

Owen Alles, Sports Editor

Spring sports are in full swing at LOHS and as the weather continues to turn for the better, the fortunes of the boys tennis team are also looking up. Although several matches have been canceled or moved due to rain delay, the team has persevered, and started off with an outstanding record of 7-1, including two wins each over league rivals Tualatin and Tigard. They have won four different matches with 8-0 clean sweeps, those being over Sherwood, Tigard (twice) and Tualatin. Their combined score against all opponents over the course of the season currently stands at an outstanding 49-12. 

The team is led by their senior captain and Redlands commit, Cooper Whittington. After finishing second in doubles last season, Whittington’s senior campaign has not disappointed. So far this season Whittington is currently 3-1 in singles and has beaten Jonah Kim of Sherwood (6-0, 6-0), Street Inman of Tigard (6-1, 6-0), and Tommy Monkarsh of Tualatin (6-0, 6-0). Whittington is currently ranked as a two-star recruit and the number seven player in Oregon and  number 520 nationally. Whittington keeps tennis simple, his favorite part is “how satisfying it is hitting the ball and running around,” but his mentality is obviously working out for him. 

Another player having a lot of success this year is senior Owen Schmidt. Schmidt mostly plays doubles, and with a variety of partners has earned his way to a 5-2 record against a variety of schools and opponents. Schmidt also earned a win in his only singles match against Ethan Quirle of Sherwood (6-0, 6-0). Another player leaving his mark on this Laker Tennis season is freshman phenom James Cui. Cui has powered his way to a 2-1 singles record beating Finn Johnson of Central Catholic (6-4, 6-4) and Khang Nguyen of Tualatin (6-1, 6-4). Cui also has amassed a 4-0 record in doubles play. Senior Gavin Hsia (7-2), Sophomore Parker Rice (4-0), Freshman Koby Grending (6-1), Sophomore Aditya Malhotra (6-0), Freshman Noah Yutan (4-0) and Sophomore Harry Hsia (5-1) have all had success in doubles play as well. 

As the team continues to improve, the eyes of some players will begin to move towards competing at state, and if they continue playing the way they are right now, they will be projected to finish very high. This can all be seen in the attitude and demeanor of the players as they begin to heighten their focus and preparation. Schmidt says “My favorite part about tennis is the competitive environment and how matches can go either way based off of small mistakes,” later adding “I personally am working hard to place well at state.” Laker Tennis has two more meets before playoffs begin, playing at Lakeridge on April 28 and at Mountainside on May 2.