Boys’, girls’ tennis sweeping through regular season

The boys’ and girls’ tennis teams are dominating their opponents on the court and making waves in their district. With regionals fast approaching, both teams are looking to continue their winning streak and cement their place as the top teams in the state.

Boys’ tennis remains undefeated through the regular season. After the boys soundly beat QO, they went on to sweep four matches in a row, meaning every matchup that day won, resulting in a perfect match. During the sweep streak, notable teams that fell to Pats included Clarksburg, Watler Johnson, Bethesda Chevy Chase, and, Richard Montgomery. With a 5-0 record under their belt heading into the final stretch of the season, the team felt great. They had no problem cruising by the likes of Walter Whitman and Blair to improve to an undefeated team 7-0 record on the season.

On Apr. 21, the team faced its biggest challenge yet in Winston Churchill. The boys came into the match as underdogs and were predicted to lose. Going into the match, coach Nitin Deodhar said, “In terms of expectations, we should 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 theirs: to win.”

Last season, Wootton’s number one singles player had his wrist broken by two members of the Churchill tennis team in a pickup basketball game just days before the match. This forced then-sophomore Ben Wang to return from a groin injury too quickly, reaggravating it.

Junior Captain Ben Wang focuses on the mental aspect of tennis, which he learned to control and believes it gives him an edge against his opponents. “One of the things we put an emphasis on is how we approach the matches mentally and making sure that we’re going out and competing every time,” Wang said.

To get a competitive edge against Churchill, Wang, and the team “knew it was going to be 90 degrees, so [they] wanted to make sure [they] were taking care of [their] bodies and recovering after matches leading up to Friday.”

The boys’ preparation aided them in an upset win over the Bulldogs 6-1, which was the most intense match of the season.
Led by senior captain and state champion Anusha Iyer, the girls bring tenacity and determination to every match. They are ready to fight for victory each time they step onto the court. “We’ve had a pretty great season so far, and we’re really proud with the way our team has been playing. Going into our match against Churchill last week, we just went in with the mindset of trying to stay positive and play our very best, and it really showed in how hard our players fought to win,” Iyer said.

The girls beat Churchill with a solid 5-2 win.

Both teams have also been buoyed by their strong supporting casts, with players like freshmen Kyle Li and Vikram Reddy, and sophomores Claire Lenkin and Natalie Asvestopouloust stepping up and delivering crucial wins when it counts. Together, the teams have been able to maintain a level of consistency and chemistry that has propelled them to the top of their district standings.

Even though on paper both teams are the brightest and best in the county, that didn’t come without some challenges. One shadow is that the team hasn’t been able to play on their own courts all year. They have had to play their home matches at Frost because the school’s courts have been in disrepair all season. There had been ongoing renovations on the courts this summer that was never finished and left raw tar around the outskirts of the court. Both teams are frustrated with the current status of the courts and hope that the issue is taken care of this summer so that they can play at the high school next season.

As the boys’ and girls’ tennis teams look ahead to regionals, one thing is clear: they are a force to be reckoned with on and off the courts. With their talent, teamwork, and grit, they have what it takes to go all the way and bring home the championship title.

Both teams swept Sherwood and Northwest 7-0, as the boys improved to a 10-0 undefeated record and the girls finished 11-1 on the season.