Francesca Chirco, Everly Kessler, and Chloe Butler
The Jamesville-DeWitt High School Boys Varsity Tennis team has served up losses to their opponents in their undefeated season. The team continued their success as they won sectionals. Five players went to state qualifiers where three players won and advanced to the state tournament.
In sectionals, the whole J-DHS team competed and brought home the sectional title. After sectionals, senior Somil Aggarwal, junior Dhruv Nanavati, freshmen Essex Glowaki and Peter Hatan, and seventh grader Mark Bratslavsky qualified for the Interclass Tournament. There, three J-D players qualified for the state tournament: Hattan, Glowaki and Nanavati. From each section in New York, only a total of nine players go to the state tournament, and J-D was responsible for three out of the nine players to qualify from Section III. Glowaki and Nanavati qualified as one of the three doubles teams along with Hatton who qualified as an individual for states for his third consecutive year. “My favorite part is the fun of being able to play with people that are at your level,” said Hatton.
States was held at the National Tennis Center in Flushing, NY where teams from all over New York State competed on June 1 and 2. Hatton made a good run in the competition, losing in the second round to the third seed in the state. Glowaki and Nanavati’s run was short-lived after losing in the first round. The boys hope to make a return trip to the state tournament in 2019.
There is a significant amount of experience within the team. Aggarwal is co-captain and brings the experience of being on the varsity team all four years of his high school career and has been playing the sport for the past seven years. The other co-captain, Nanavati, has also had a lot of experience outside of J-DHS, as do many of the the younger members of the team. Most of the players have been practicing the sport when they were younger or they began middle school.
The team has representatives from all grades of high school, and also a seventh grader, Mark Bratslavsky. Although the team has a substantial age range, they have a strong team dynamic, which was a crucial aspect in making this season so successful. According to the players, the small team gets along very well, which allows them to work together even better in practice and while playing in matches. “We have so much fun together. We have lots of fun on the bus rides. We even have a couple of team group chats,” said sophomore Aniket Maini.
Head Coach Eugene Sul has led the team for 16 years and has his own personal experience with the sport as he played throughout high school. He didn’t dedicate much time to practice in college but still retained his passion for tennis. At J-D he has coached both Boys Varsity Tennis and Girls Varsity Tennis for many of his years. Mr. Sul utilizes many unique drills and methods into his coaching to keep the long winter months inside interesting and fun for his team. “We even dabbled in playing floor hockey with their tennis racquets as sticks,” said Mr. Sul.
Similar to years passed, the team achieved great success both individually and collectively under Mr. Sul. “Overall, we had a really strong team and our success is shown by our record,” said sophomore Will Guisbond. The team will pick the racquets back up next school year and continue to improve in order to have the same success next season.