By Akshita Joshi, Staff Reporter Along with the rest of spring sports, the boys’ tennis team kicked off its season setting goals, adding new talent and incorporating a different training regimen. Spirit and motivation run high on the team, creating anticipation for success this season. While last year the boys’ tennis team competed in the...
By Akshita Joshi, Staff Reporter
Along with the rest of spring sports, the boys’ tennis team kicked off its season setting goals, adding new talent and incorporating a different training regimen. Spirit and motivation run high on the team, creating anticipation for success this season.
While last year the boys’ tennis team competed in the states tournament, they ultimately fell short with a loss to Lower Merion earning second place overall. However, this year, the team hopes to excel further than last year with incorporated differences to this season.
Senior Drew Casparius has been playing for the team for four years and started his tennis journey 12 years ago. With his extensive experience playing tennis for Conestoga, Casparius notes the differences from previous years.
“A lot of training this year — different from last year — has been mental prep. We’ve done a lot of team building also to try to build that team spirit that can power you through tough matches and moments,” Casparius said.
Along with mental preparation, the team has focused heavily on improving their players’ physical strengths. Senior Manas Dhawan, like Casparius, has also played on the team for four years. Along with being one of only five seniors on the team, he is serving as this year’s captain.
“This is my first season as captain where I have to handle some new responsibilities and it is important personally that I meet these demands of leadership. We are trying to confront injuries, particularly in our varsity line up,” Dhawan said. “Some of our spectacular players have had to deal with injuries that moved our lineup around and have caused a bit of volatility.”
The dynamic of the team has not only been shifted by training changes, but also by losses and additions of members on the team. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many members initially left the team and subsequently shifted to another sport the following year for the spring. Due to this, the team currently has a small number of seniors and a larger number of new members.
One of these new members is freshman Rohan Rao who is adding new talent to the team playing in the second spot for singles, a rank usually held by seniors. Along with being an experienced player, a particular quality differentiates him from the other players.
“I’m excited to be part of the Conestoga varsity team as I can learn and help my peers.
One skill I can bring to the team is being a left handed player because it forces others to adjust to my game style which can be harder,” Rao said.
With effective players and strategy, the team is anticipated to do well and has departed on their journey in completing their goals of winning the state championships this year. Coach Britt Aimone recognizes the effort the players are putting into the team this year and has faith in how the rest of the season will continue.
“These boys put in the work physically (and) there’s no doubt about that. But we will be better prepared mentally this year. Mindset makes all the difference,” Aimone said. “I admire the respect and trust that this team has for one another — the ability to be authentic and vulnerable with one another. The brotherhood is inspiring, these boys are a family.”
Akshita Joshi can be reached at [email protected].
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