The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

Winged Post

Varsity boys tennis team suffers 2-5 loss to Menlo on senior night

Tiffany Zhu
Head coach John Fruterro and senior Thomas Liu smile after Fruterro gave a speech celebrating Thomas Liu during the varsity boys tennis team’s senior night. “I’ve met so many amazing people here, and it’s been a good four years,” Thomas said.

Varsity boys tennis came up short against Menlo 2-5 on their senior night at Del Mar High School on April 17. 

The team honored senior Thomas Liu, who has played on Harker’s tennis team since sixth grade. Head coach John Fruttero recounted Thomas’ growth and dedication during a commemorative speech. 

Reflecting on his time playing tennis at Harker, Thomas expressed his gratitude for the team’s community. 

“I’ve met so many amazing people here, and it’s been a good four years,” Thomas said. “I’ve been here watching my fellow teammates ever since they joined the team, and I’m really proud of how far they’ve all come.” 

First singles player Tanishk Konduri (9) dominated his first set 6-3, but his opponent picked up the pace which led to a tiebreaker round in the second set. Tanishk still emerged as the winner with a 7-6 victory. In the second singles slot, although Rithvik Navad (9) put up a long fight, he lost both his sets 3-6. 

Rithvik’s mother Roopa Nayak emphasizes not only the individual players’ efforts but also the team’s cohesiveness as their driving force for their past wins this season.  

Frosh Tanishk Konduri keeps his eye on the tennis ball as he gets ready to hit a forehand stroke. Tanishk played in the first singles slot and beat his opponent in two sets. (Tiffany Zhu)

“They played very well, and I know they are fighting hard,” Nayak said. “As a team, they have a good common ground. They’re coming together really nicely right now, and going forward, as a team they can be even better.”

Igniting the momentum again, third singles player Paras Painuly (10) faced off against a tough opponent and clinched narrow wins in both his sets 7-6. Fourth singles player Ryan Miao (9) played fiercely, winning several points in long rallies but succumbed in two sets. 

The top doubles team of juniors Vyom Vidyarthi and Jeffrey Zhang conceded the first set to Menlo. They made a comeback in the second, winning 6-2 but faltered in the tiebreaker. 

Sophomores Eddie Zhang and Yash Sachdeva on the second doubles team faced an early setback as well, dropping the first set 6-4. Building up momentum in the second set, they leveled the score to 6-6 and entered the tiebreaker round. Even with several aces and long rallies, they fell short in the round. Evan Zhang (10) and Yinan Zhou (11) played the last doubles match, suffering a 0-6 defeat in the first set. In the second set, they managed to earn four points but ultimately lost 4-6. 

Frosh Rithvik Navad brings his racket back to prepare for a forehand stroke during his match against a player from Menlo. The Eagles will face the Knights again on Monday for a rematch. (Tiffany Zhu)

Menlo holds a reputation as a formidable opponent, beating the Eagles 7-0 during their first faceoff of the season on March 28. Despite this challenge, the Eagles demonstrated grit and resilience on and off the court, where players cheered for their teammates.

“We did a good job given the circumstances,” Evan said. “The other team was really good, but we held up, especially in the second set. We came back and gave them a closer fight, so that’s something to be proud of.” 

The team currently holds a season record of 8-2 and will compete in the first round of the Central Coast Section Tournament on May 1.

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About the Contributor
Tiffany Zhu
Tiffany Zhu, Reporter
Tiffany Zhu (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. This year, Tiffany hopes to meet more members of the Harker and journalism community and share topics she's passionate about with them. In her free time, she enjoys baking and watching all genres of movies.

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