Boys varsity tennis has eyes on another title

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With senior Peter Bryant and junior Spain Short as the only returning starters of the seven from last year’s state championship tennis team, head coach Wade Boggs was unsure what the season would hold. Now, he believes the boys varsity tennis team experienced a successful rebuilding year.

“Our goal every year is always to be competitive for the state championship,” said Boggs, “but this youthful tennis squad has certainly exceeded our expectations.”

The graduation of five seniors in 2011 left holes in the team’s lineup, including the number one singles spot previously held by current MIT tennis player Eugene Oh. Newcomer Walker Duncan is playing number one singles as a freshman, as did Oh and Duncan’s older brother, Sawyer Duncan ‘07, both of whom held the spot for all four years in high school.

Short is playing number two singles for the second straight year, while sophomore Stephen Solms took over at number three singles. The senior duo of Bryant and Ben Zacks is Westminster’s number one doubles team, and junior Jimmy White and sophomore Will Anderson play two doubles.

This young team was dominant during the regular season as it swept all of its matches against A-AAAA squads. Solms attributes this impressive accomplishment to the team’s philosophy.

“Our team relies on the three pillars that create success: effort, talent, and determination,” said Solms. “Our team balances these three aspects and that is why we have achieved so much this season.”

With matches against powerhouse Blessed Trinity and rival Lovett, the Cats compete in one of the state’s tougher regions. The NetCats demolished all three key rivals during regular season play, winning all five of the matches in their meetings with both Lovett and Decatur and defeating Blessed Trinity by winning four matches and losing just one to the Wolves. In the region tournament held at Westminster, the Cats proved to be difficult opponents for its region foes and earned the region title as well as a number-one seed in the state playoffs.

With a good draw in the playoffs, the team is confident it will reach its goal of bringing home another state championship, which would be the eleventh in the last 12 years for the Wildcats.

“As the season has gone on, we have become a closer and more confident team,” said Anderson, “and we hope to bring another title back to Westminster.”