Varsity boys tennis falls to Diamond Bar
Varsity boys tennis lost to Diamond Bar, 5-13, in its second preseason game Thursday, Feb. 23 at home. Walnut trailed the entire game, with two wins in the first and second round each and one win in the third.
Going into his first match, singles player senior Ryan Wong started off with a 3-0 lead after consistent shots. However, his opponent responded with backhand shots that were able to counter Wong’s serves, winning six consecutive games. Unable to maintain his lead, Wong lost the set 3-6.
“I was kind of excited to play Diamond Bar, but I don’t think it made a difference in my playing or mentality. I played like it was any other school,” Wong said. “[My opponent] just had a better feel of the situation and also knew how to deal with the wind more than I did. I placed the ball well, but after he came back, he became more consistent; that’s why he won that game.”
In the first round, singles player senior Dylan Truong wore out his opponent with sliced shots. Truong and doubles players junior Matthew Mai and senior Todd Nanayon pulled away with wins, 6-1 and 6-0, respectively.
“I treat every match the same. I don’t think of anyone higher or lower because you always need to have your guard up; sometimes players will surprise you, and you don’t want to lose because you underestimated someone. I just focus on trying to help my team as much by winning my sets,” Truong said.
Since it was a preseason game, Head Coach Lee Shiomoto tried different combinations of doubles teams. By the third round with Walnut down 4-12, he substituted in singles players senior Matthew Yu, junior George Pu and doubles player Eric Liang to replace the starters.
“[My partner and I] have a good relationship. Even though it’s kind of new, we’ve tried to get to know one another, and on the court we listen to each other’s advice. I have to get used to being on this team, but I really enjoy being able to practice and play with other players that can help me become better,” doubles player freshman Lucas Van Zee said.
Mai and Nanayon were the only players to win all three of their sets, with two 6-0 wins. Despite being a new doubles team, they out-rallied their opponents with low and quick alternating shots. However, Walnut did not take advantage of their wins and the game ended 5-13.
“Even though we didn’t win today, I feel like my two bagels [are] going to give me momentum for the next few upcoming games,” Mai said. “League is right around the corner, so we are definitely going to practice more, and we need to find out our doubles teams. I feel very confident about [season], because the last two years we’ve done really well.”
By Sarah Aie, Sports editor
Photo by Jamie Chen