By Karen Hsueh
After previous varsity tennis coach Mr. Jim Asher resigned from his position, SPHS alumnus Marivick Mamiit stepped up to the position. With the fresh new team of twelve, the boys’ tennis team is prepping for success through conditioning, challenge matches, and constant drilling.
The new team is underclassmen heavy, with only two seniors and three juniors. Of the current members on varsity, six were members of last year’s varsity team and four stepped up from junior varsity.
“We have a great team with a lot of raw potential,” Mamiit said. “If the boys give every game their 100% effort and focus, we’ll definitely be bringing in a lot of wins this season.”
While the official lineup is still undecided and doubles combinations are being matched and rematched, the Tigers constantly play matches against each other to ensure the best lineup. Matchplay was also one of the main determinants of who made the team.
“Because we’re so familiar with each other’s playing styles, it’s easier to play out matches like its just practice,” sophomore Kevin Huang said.
On the courts, the boys are constantly moving. With Mamiit’s new training regimen, team practices are filled with working on every aspect of each player’s game. Practice usually consists of warm-ups, drills, practice sets, dynamic stretching, and trips to the weight room. From running laps on the field to running warm-ups on the courts, the team values discipline above much else.
“I really like this year’s team dynamics,” junior Ali Nazari said. “No matter whether we win or lose, we are still the same ambitious group.”
While captains are usually determined by seniority and vote, Mamiit decided to change it up and have the captains for both junior varsity and varsity be appointed by application. Applications for the captain position are still being decided.
After three preseason matches, the Tigers will plunge into their league season, playing Monrovia High School on Friday, March 20. Their first match was on Tuesday, March 3, against La Salle High School. Then, they played Alhambra High School on Thursday, March 5. The Tigers won both games with a 14-4 and 12-6 victory, respectively.
“I’m excited to play against other skilled players from really good teams,” sophomore Jason Cai said. “The team’s going to do really well with our focus and determination.”