Hayden Kissee ’17 lines up, calm and collected, acting normally. His partner, John Lindberg ’18 stands at the net, gazing fiercely into the returner’s eye. The ball shoots past him, and he moves forwards to smash down a volley, but there is no need, as the ball does not come back.
The Jesuit tennis team fires up its Spring Season with a 2-0 start, gaining much success in the two invitationals they have competed in, especially in boy’s doubles. The season opener seemed to be a breeze for the team, sweeping rival Trinity Christian Academy (TCA) in a compelling 14-0 match. Although the TCA team had lost many of its seniors this year, the Jesuit team established their Spring Season attitude of domination, showcasing the depth of their team and sending a message that they were not there to mess around.
The following Friday was Jesuit’s first invitational of the year, the Grapevine “Icebowl” Invitational. The Jesuit doubles team continued their streak of dominance in this tournament, carrying on from last year’s victory to win this year’s Boys Doubles A draw in a well fought 7-6, 6-3 final victory over the Keller team. The duo of Hayden Kissee and John Lindberg carried on their winning streak from the very beginning of the fall season, not losing a single set in their road to gold. While Hayden Kissee has much experience from last year’s victories with Campbell Frost ’16. John Lindberg, who throughout his years has focused in singles, did not disappoint as he joins the arena of boys doubles this year. Coach Civello was thoroughly impressed by his volleys stating that “John had great hands and really showed it in the finals with some spectacular volleys which really took the wind out of Keller’s sails.”
The Jesuit team further improved on their success in their next invitational, the Coppell “Superbowl” Invitational, this time not only winning Boys Double-A draw but winning the B draw as well. Jesuit’s #1 doubles pair, to no surprise, swept the competition as they beat the host team in the finals in a decisive 6-2, 6-4 victory, asserting their dominance as the #1 seed. The dark horse of the tournament was Jesuit’s #2 doubles pair of Alex Giebler ’18 and Ethan Kissee ’17, who paired together in the Grapevine Tournament without much experience of each other and went on to win the Boys Doubles B draw in a nail-biting final against an experienced Lindale team. Marcelo Pier ’18, a member of the Jesuit Varsity team, echoes his thoughts on their success, stating that “we have been having a great spring season so far, especially with out top doubles teams already winning tournaments. The team is looking strong and I look forward to the rest of the season.”
With these strong sentiments in mind, the Jesuit team continued their season to obliterate long-time rivals the Parish Panthers 7-0. While the team had been affected by the flu and other injuries, they demonstrated their depth with freshman doubles stars Diego Trejo ’20 and Reid Staples ’20 winning 6-0, 6-0 as #2 doubles. The rest of the team swept their opponents, to go 21-0 to start what will be a very exciting Spring Season. Fellow freshman, Trey Ashmore ’20 highlights how this season has been “an enjoyable experience from the outset”, not only commenting on the team’s succes, but what may be just as important is the team’s community, in which the succes of one individual or pair creates joy in others.
The Jesuit tennis team will look to continue their success in this Friday’s Austin Westwood Invitational, as well as to the Coppell Spring Invitational which will occur on the following Friday.