Will Victory Be Served?


Courtesy of PDS

Aaron Chu, Staff Writer

The PDS Varsity Tennis team has kicked off, currently holding a record of three wins and two losses. Unlike other team sports, a typical high school tennis team is composed of seven of the most elite players, with three singles players and two doubles teams. While the lineup is constantly changing due to illnesses and injuries, the current arrangement consists of senior Lex Decker playing first singles; senior Vivek Sharma playing second singles; freshman Aaron Phogat playing third singles; freshman Aaron Chu and senior Riley Gudgel playing first doubles; sophomore Eric Leung and junior Aneesh Kumar playing second doubles. Despite sophomore Chris Delaney’s injury early in the season, the team is in solid shape in the hands of Coach Asch.

In order for a tennis team to win, one school has to win the majority of the five matches played. For example, if the first and second singles players, as well as the first doubles team, win their individual matches, then the school would defeat the opponent.

As of now, the Boys Varsity Tennis team has brought home three wins against Gill St. Bernards (GSB), the Hun School, and Peddie. However, the varsity tennis team had close losses to Hopewell-Valley and Pingry. At the opening match against GSB, every Panther was victorious, resulting in a sweeping win. Against the Hun School, the varsity team finished with four wins and one loss. Lex Decker, the first seed, defeated singles player Evan Goldsmith.  Aaron Phogat crushed his opponent, Avi Yalamanchi, with a score of 6-0, 6-0. Both of our doubles teams were successful and bested Hun. Later in the season, PDS’ losses against Hopewell-Valley and Pingry taught the team valuable lessons, in-line with the motto: “you never learn if you never lose”.

Recently, the team competed in the Mercer County Tournament (MCT). Lex Decker, Aaron Phogat, and Eric Leung with Aneesh Kumar qualified for the main draw, while Aaron Chu and Riley Gudgel, along with Vivek Sharma, were eliminated in the round of 32. Despite the initial hard loss, Chu, Gudgel, and Sharma fought through to win their second matches. In the second round, Eric Leung and Aneesh Kumar ultimately lost a hard-fought battle in a three-set match. Aaron Phogat also lost to a very strong opponent. Our first singles, Lex Decker, won and successfully defeated the opposing teams he faced, and eventually lost in a close semifinals match.

The tennis season is still early and the team has just begun to find their strengths and weaknesses. The Prep B Championships will arrive at the end of the season, and despite a close and tough loss last year, the boys hope to once again become the reigning champs of the Prep B division.