Boys’ Tennis Comes Home with Win Against Choate
Big Red varsity A tennis chalked up a big win against Choate on Saturday, bringing home a lopsided 6-1 win and extending their winning streak to three games to kick off the season.
With Charlie Boyd, the fifth-seeded player on the Varsity A team, injured, prep Rex Tercek played his first Varsity A match on Saturday, filling in as No. 6.
Despite Tercek’s close loss, teammates praised Tercek for his performance. "Rex played unbelievably, and he was able to come back from a second set deficit,” Exeter’s first-seeded player, Kenny Tao ’15, said. “We were all really proud of him, and he is a huge contribution to our team.”
Co-captain Kelvin Lee ’13 agreed. “I am very glad that Rex was able to experience playing for Varsity A, and he really stepped up to the occasion. With powerful and deep groundstrokes, he really pushed their player to play a tough, long match,” he said.
The key factors of the team’s win were high energy on the court, an improved mental game and consistency in both singles and doubles, according to Lee. Tao also stressed the importance of the focused training throughout the week leading up to the match.
This year’s win against Choate was more comfortable than usual for Big Red, as they squeezed out 5-2 and 4-3 wins in the past two years. Upper Paul Lee believed that the decisive win was a result of the improvement of the team.
“I think that this year, we are very deep through all top six players, and we have gotten stronger in the bottom half of our ladder compared to the past couple of years,” he said.
“Choate is typically one of the toughest teams we play every season, and even this season they are one of the strongest teams out there - so it was really a great accomplishment to beat them so decisively,” Kelvin Lee said. “The talent has always been there on our strong Exeter squad but we really played well this time around, not giving Choate a chance.”
Paul Lee praised the standout performers on Saturday’s match: Tao, playing as No. 1, and Kelvin Lee, playing as No. 2. Tao won 6-0, 6-0, and Lee triumphed 6-1, 6-0.
“Kenny played phenomenally as usual, crushing a fairly solid player who was not an easy win,” Kelvin Lee said.
Of his own performance, Tao said, “My opponent gave me a lot of rhythm to get into my game, which usually leads to me playing really well.”
“My opponent was a solid player, but my goal for that match was to hit lots of deep, cross court shots with heavy top spin, which paid off in the end,” Kelvin Lee said of his own match. “My consistency and selection of the right shots to kill helped me win so decisively.”
Players said that there was still room for improvement for the rest of the season. “Our team can continue to have focused practices that work on a few techniques that a lot of our team struggles with,” Kelvin Lee said.
Paul Lee said that there was a lot of work to be done, and that players still need to work on every aspect of the game. “All of us especially need to try and stay healthy, and if we do and keep improving, we'll have a great shot at the championship,” he said.