Junior Leo Eisner, coach Jamie Nelson and freshman Ashwin Rohatgi attended the league championship on April 25 at Highlands High School. Freshman Ming Zhu and Rohatgi lost the doubles championship (6-10) and will not advance to section championships. Eisner won the finals of the league championship (2-6, 6-3, 6-4).
The tennis team finished with a 1-7 record in league. However, junior Leo Eisner lost his first round (5-7, 4-6) at the section championships at the Oak Park Tennis Complex in Stockton on May 3.
Coach’s comment (per coach Jamie Nelson): “Each match has nine separate categories, (and) a team needs 14 players to compete in all nine categories. Country Day is small, and our roster has only nine active players.
“There are often conflicts with class work, and academics are most important. This season we often had players for only three or four categories.
“We did win our match (against) Encina (Preparatory High School) as they too had a small team.
“My focus is to encourage our players to participate in the morning practices with coach (Dave) Kuhn to work on improving their basic skills.”
Player’s perspective (per senior Nico Burns): “I was pretty disappointed with my performance. I didn’t practice nearly as much as I should have (because) my (private) coach retired last year, and I never brought my game back up to the level it was at last year. (Burns was undefeated last season and was the 2017 boys’ league singles champion).
“The season was really fun in terms of bonding with my teammates. A lot of the matches are really far away – up to an hour and a half – so I got to spend a lot of time with them. It was great getting to know the freshmen before I graduate, especially since I haven’t interacted with them much otherwise this year.
“I’m really excited for Leo and proud that he was able to pull through at the singles tournament. He played great this season, and it was well-deserved.”
Player’s perspective (per Eisner): “We could have been much better and involved as a team if we took it more seriously. I know that a majority of the teammates are in their junior year, and that is the most taxing year.
“Many students, including freshmen, opted out of coming to matches due to conflicting schedules with school and homework. It was very surprising that we had only one match (against Golden Sierra High School) at which the entire team showed up.
“I really appreciate the way that our team treats tennis: a good time. Unlike some schools, SCDS makes sure to have fun during each minute of the match and remember that tennis is not all about winning.”
Top player: Eisner finished his undefeated season as the boys’ league singles champion.
Originally published in the May 8 edition of the Octagon.