Already starting the spring season 2-0, the Jesuit tennis team continued to march over their rival schools in the Dallas area. The first challengers to the team’s throne was the notable Episcopal School of Dallas (ESD), but they were, from the start, no match for the stacked Rangers team, who while not sending their top six varsity players, were still able to claim victory, 8-3. Once again, the Freshman class of 2020 was able to show a promising future winning all but one of their matches, and Patrick Moore ’20 stated that “we were all having fun playing against another private school with a lot of skilled players,” after his match in which he skillfully handled his opponent David Saland ’20, 8-6, who admitted to feeling “utterly dispirited” following their team’s loss.
As stated by Patrick Moore, the Rangers’ Tennis Team enjoyed proving their superiority over other private schools in the Dallas area, out of a perennial sense of rivalry. Thus they enjoyed their next victory against one of the best in the Dallas area, Greenhill. Last year saw the Rangers surprisingly dominate a team that held top-ten-in-Texas players, and the Rangers, on no other than Ignation Day, continued this trend in a much closer contest, 4-2.
Center court featured the confident pair of Hayden Kissee ’17 and John Lindberg ’18, who have yet to suffer a loss in the Dallas area and, while they started slow, quickly down with a score of 4-2, they kept their poise and went on to obliterate their opponents by winning 10 straight games, taking the match 6-4, 6-0. John Lindberg ’18 described the match and noted that “we were still not warmed up at the start,” understandable on a day which featured no school, “and then we just started playing.”
Looking at the close score, singles victor Cole Clement ’19 must be mentioned. Cole started confidently and who went into a decisive 7-point tie-breaker to determine the outcome of the match. The tiebreaker saw him hold strong to win the match 8-6, giving the Rangers a crucial point and the lead. He mentioned afterward that “I felt that it was probably the hardest match of the season, but with how much we have improved we were still able to pull out a win.” Even with the Rangers missing key varsity players, Greenhill could not contend with the depth of the team.
Perhaps more important than these matches, have been the invitationals, which are key tournaments for the upcoming varsity district matches, both as practice and for seeding purposes. One of the team’s rare opportunities to find new competition occurred as the varsity team ventured to the Austin Westwood Invitational in Austin. After being rested in a luxurious hotel, the team was ready to compete against new opponents. The weekend saw B Draw doubles pair of Alex Giebler ’18 and Ethan Kissee ’17 winning their entire draw, both confidently stating that their competition was “pretty easy.” Unfortunately, the same could not be said for Jesuit’s #1 Dynamic Duo who suffered their first loss of the season, losing 8-6 in the semi-finals to a strong Westlake team. Singles saw in the A Draw, Nico Elizondo ’18 reach the quarters, while Kota Ueshima ’19 was ousted in the semis of the B Draw, who with this loss stated that he “enjoyed the overall experience of traveling with the team, as it created an atmosphere of a varsity competition, and the fact that we didn’t know most of our opponents made it fresh and exciting.”
Even after missing two days of school from the Austin Adventure, the Varsity Rangers team continued their competition, by taking part in their second Coppell Invitational the following week, which saw Highland Park enter for the first time. With this new rivalry, the Rangers were able improve upon the previous week’s results, gaining a gold, silver and bronze medal overall. Jesuit’s #1 Doubles pair, continued their undefeated streak in Dallas, bouncing back after their narrow defeat in Austin, by claiming their 3rd Invitational Title of the season as they triumphed over a strong Flower Mound duo. While, Jesuit’s #2 pair would not able to repeat their first place title in Austin, they came awfully close, losing a 3rd set tie-breaker to Longview 10-8. Nico Elizondo was also able to improve his results, finishing third in the tournament, ousting Coppell’s #2 player Yash Reddy ’18 in the 3rd place match.
Members of the Varsity team are currently competing in Spring Season Regionals in Waco as they try to replicate the successes of the matches and the invitationals they have competed in during this year’s spring season. Also, while the Freshman class can only look from afar to such district and regional matches, with the successes they have had, they will soon competing in those very matches next year.