The Jesuit tennis team was both calm and collected as they waited for their names to be announced for the first round of play at the Varsity District tournament, hosted by Coppell High School. In place of nerves was a sense of enjoyment, and the team was ready to compete with the best competition when it mattered, already experienced from the tough schedule that was the spring season.
With these emotions in mind, Jesuit entered hoping to repeat last year’s district titles, knowing the disadvantage of not having a mixed doubles team for those necessary points against a very talented and deep roster of Coppell, the only opposition that could have a chance of stopping Jesuit. A key theme for Jesuit has been the doubles team, something the team prides itself on. As expected, with great ease, the number one pair of Hayden Kissee ’17 and John Lindberg ’18 ousted the competition, beating both the number one and two pairs that Coppell brought in straight sets.
The number two pair of Ethan Kissee ’17 and Alex Giebler ’18 were unable to defeat Coppell’s number one pair, losing 4-6, 4-6 in the semi-finals. The singles featured Nico Elizondo ’18, who eased his way into the final until falling short to Coppell’s number one Justin Chen ’18, who would eventually place 3rd at state.
Nico Elizondo ’18 reminisces that “I believe that district was one of the best tournaments I have ever played, everything just felt right: all my shots were working (I even hit a ‘tweener’ in my quarterfinal match!).” While Jesuit was not able to win the district title as a team, not helped by the fact Coppell placed first and second in mixed doubles, the team was able to send two teams into Regionals, Nico Elizondo ’18 and number one pair of Hayden Kissee ’17 and John Lindberg ’18.
Only two weeks following the District tournament, these players would compete in a far tougher arena, in the Regional tournament in Waco. Nico Elizondo ’18, unfortunately, could not repeat his successes in the Varsity District tournament, falling short in the first round, but took his first experience in Regionals into stride as he stated that “next year I hope to overcome this year’s play and just have the ability to be able to go out there and play the best I can, so that I can achieve my dreams of reaching state.”
The number one pair of Hayden Kissee ’17 and John Lindberg ’18 was able to get through the first day of play, but could not oust Houston Memorial’s number one pair, losing in a tough match 5-7, 6-0, 5-7 in the semi-finals. As both teams had hoped to achieve state, something only accomplished once in Jesuit tennis history, they were both disappointed, but John Lindberg ’18 stated that “it was still fun to play.”
Following the end of the varsity team’s season, the junior varsity team, while not having the opportunity to go to Regionals, competed in the JV tournament. As the depth of the team has been key to many of Jesuit’s successes, the JV team did not disappoint and obtained first and third places in both the doubles and singles. The freshman duo of Reid Staples ’20 and Diego Trejo ’20 crushed the competition, defeating the number one pair sent by Coppell 8-3 in the finals. In the singles scene, freshman Trey Ashmore ’20 obtained the first place medal, while Cole Clement ’19, after losing in the semifinals, still won the drawback to get third place. Patrick Moore ’20, who won third place with Joey Cistulli ’17, stated that “all the matches were really close as most went to tie breakers but we did very well in the tournament, and I enjoyed it because, you know, it’s always fun winning.”
With the conclusion of the 2016-2017 season, the team will say goodbye to veterans Hayden Kissee ’17, Ethan Kissee ’17, Joey Cistulli ’17, and will welcome to what has been reported as a strong class of incoming freshman. The rest of the team, who will have at least one year of Jesuit tennis under their belt, will hope to build upon the successes of this year going into the 2017-2018 season.