Tennis teams’ camaraderie shows despite mix of experience

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Tigard junior Hayden Troung has been one of the teams top competitors this year, according to Head Coach Kevin Reeves. Adam Littman/Tigard Life
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The Tigard boys and girls tennis teams have a mix of returning players and players new to the sport, but both coaches say their teams positive attitudes have been a highlight of the season.

“The team is super cohesive,” said Kelsey Wahl, head coach for the girls team. “We have a fairly large team this year with 41 girls and they all get along really well. We have a lot of new players and a lot of returning players. Our varsity team has worked really hard in the offseason, and we’re seeing a lot of that hard work paying off this season.”

Kevin Reeves, head coach for the boys team, said he has already seen a lot of growth in his team.

“A lot of our kids are freshmen or just new to playing varsity,” he said. “The young players are wanting to play more and loving it.”

As the regular season winds down, here’s a look at how it has gone so far for both teams. 

Girls team

Wahl said two of her standouts this year have been the team’s No. 1 doubles team, seniors Devina Shrestha and Stella Roth. Shrestha has been on the team since her sophomore year and Roth has been on the team all four years of high school, however, this is their first year as a doubles team.

“It’s been really fun,” Shrestha said. “We work really well together. We clicked when we first started playing together, so the adjustment hasn’t been too hard.”

Roth agreed, and said the two have a similar energy, so they can pick each other up on the court when one is down.

Shrestha said it has been a fun season since the team gets along so well. Roth noticed something else with this year’s squad that has made her senior season a success.

“This is the most competitive set of girls over the last four years,” Roth said. “From last year to this year, the improvement and the tenacity is amazing. We’re doing really well cohesively as a team.”

Wahl said senior Sydney Board, the team’s No. 1 singles competitor, is also having a strong season. Board is coming off two straight Three Rivers League district championships.

Freshman Emi Brown also earned praise from her coach for earning victories in her first season on varsity as the team’s No. 3 singles competitor, and now as a doubles player, as well.

“We have a lot of really versatile players,” Wahl said. “I’m very fortunate that they all have a good attitude and are willing to be flexible and play whatever is best for the team.”

Another player succeeding both in singles and doubles competition is junior Maiyah Kashi.

“She has improved a ton from last season,” Wahl said. “She put in so much work in the summer and the fall. She is super committed to tennis and is having a great season.”

Boys team

On the boys side, Reeves said he doesn’t have the most experienced team, but they’re learning and improving as the season goes on.

“We’re learning how to play mentally and tactic wise and our technique,” he said. “Those are the three main things we’re shooting for.”

The future of the boys’ team is looking bright, Reeves said, as most of his top players are underclassmen. He cited sophomore Joseph Brown, junior Hayden Troung, and sophomore James Corella as three of his top players this year. He also said senior Street Inman has been having a solid season.

“They’re working on their tactics,” Reeves said. “Their techniques are improving. They’re learning how to use tactics within matches to get the ball they want to win points. They’re really competing.”

Reeves also said his team is versatile with players willing to switch between singles and doubles to try out new looks. At a recent dual match, Reeves had one of his top doubles teams, Corella and Mehul Munankarmi, both playing doubles. He had two of his top singles players, Inman and Anthony Payne.

“We pair them up to see who plays better with who or say who do you want to play with or who do you like playing with,” Reeves said. “Sometimes we let them pick, sometimes we pair them up with somebody new to see how it goes.”

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