Boys’ and girls’ tennis expected to serve up exciting season


Photo by @gkaurphotos

Junior Naomi Esterowitz returns a serve with her backhand during her match against Northwest last year.

Boys’ tennis started out the regular season with a bang a dominant 6-1 against a strong Quince Orchard side on Mar. 21. Freshman Anthony Hall, Kyle Li, and Vikram Reddy all won their first singles as part of the team that contributed to the Patriot win.

Prior to the opening match, the team held a scrimmage against Landon at Frost on Mar. 9. Although it was a scrimmage, they still had tight competitive matches.

Last year, the team finished 4A State and Regional Champs and is looking to repeat the results.
Sophomore Justin Huang is adapting to the changes in the boys’ tennis program after their coach, former social studies teacher Nia Cresham, who had been the coach for over a decade, retired. New coach Nitin Deodhar is a graduate of Towson and was a former United States Tennis Association (USTA) nationally-ranked junior and scholarship player on Towson men’s tennis. Deodhar is also the owner and director of the Bethesda Tennis Academy where he has developed national-level tennis programs that have led to over 25 NCAA collegiate players.

“In terms of expectations, I think when you’re the coach of Wootton the expectation is always to win the division. We know we have a long road ahead of us, and we know Churchill is the favorite but as a team, our expectation is no different than last year,” Deodhar said.

Deodhar said he believes that his coaching experience will translate seamlessly into the high school level. “I’m just trying to make every student-athlete a better person and a better player on the court. We’re just trying to grow as a team, striving for excellence and being the best that we can be,” Deodhar said.

Although he is injured, Huang said, “Deodhar has been doing well to lead the team so far and has matched Cresham’s level with building a team this year and especially has more competition for starting spots.”

Sophomore Will Balian said he is amped for the start of a new season as this year he secured the third double’s position in the starting lineup, along with sophomore Mihir Kotraiah. “I’m really excited to start this season with new leadership. We have a talented group of guys and I know we have great results ahead of us,” Balian said.

The girls’ tennis team also plans to continue their dominance as they were also 4A State and Regional Champs last year. They played their first home match and won 7-0 one-upping the boys also facing off against QO on Mar. 21.
Senior Captain Anusha Iyer has high expectations this year after last year when she won the State title as a doubles player. “We have high hopes for a great season. We’re really excited about the team we have this year and are looking forward to defending our county and state titles,” Lyer said.

Last year’s doubles state champion junior Naomi Esterowitz said she is looking forward to the season. She is committed to Penn for field hockey and this year she “just wants to have fun” her mantra being, “Nice team, Nice people.”