Boys tennis aces first half of season with six wins: At 7-1, varsity team looks to stay at top tier of conference and make run in playoffs

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Josh White

Senior captain Chirag Doshi sets himself up for a forehand against the Great Neck South Rebels on April 28. The Vikings won the match 6-1 and improved to a record of 7-1. The next match for the Vikings is on May 2 against Plainview JFK.

Kyle Cohen, Staff Writer

The boys tennis team is excited to compete for a county championship this season.  The Vikings have a 7-1 record, and have mixed youth with experience to form a highly competitive team in 2014.  Led by Coach Mr. Peter Travis, the team is currently ranked fourth overall on Long Island.

The captains are seniors Ben Rosen and Chirag Doshi, and sophomore Alex Grossman.

“We have a great team this year.  We have a lot of upperclassmen on the team, which gives us experience and the team is more focused because of it.  We also have skillful underclassmen, which adds to the team’s depth.  There is a good chance that we will go far into the playoffs this season,” said Rosen.

“Our captains lead by example.  Their enthusiasm helps fuel the fire and their behavior helps to set the tone,” said Coach Travis.

Port’s captains set an example for the rest of the team.  This is vital to help keep focus and readiness in matches and at practices and account for different levels of experience on the team.  At the same time, the three captains are not the only leaders on the team.  All of the upperclassmen play roles in leading the team on and off the court.

“Great upperclassmen paired with a strong crew of freshman and sophomores helps to ensure Port’s place as a premier Long Island tennis team for the foreseeable future.  Every year, the elder members on the team take on the role of leadership to help pilot the team to success.  This year we are losing six seniors, and while they will be sorely missed, a new crop of players is already emerging,” said Coach Travis.

The Vikings have established themselves as one of the top teams in the county currently in second in Conference 1A.  Now, they are trying to establish themselves as the best with a strong second half of the season and a deep playoff push.

“Our rivals are still the top two teams on Long Island.  They are Cold Spring Harbor and Syosset.  This season we just barely lost to Cold Spring Harbor, and we have yet to play Syosset,” said Coach Travis.

The home match against Cold Spring Harbor was the closest of the year with a score of 4-3.  Doshi, third doubles team featuring freshmen twins Max and Austin Egna, and fourth doubles team, freshmen George Kaslow and T.J Serignese, all won their matches.  Port has a chance to redeem the loss on May 7.

Port’s doubles teams have developed plenty of chemistry through practices, especially the Egna twins who have the advantage of playing together all the time.  The doubles teams have worked together to further develop their abilities with matches against each other during practices.

“Cold Spring Harbor is certainly a name to fear this year as it has been for the last fifteen to twenty years in the tennis community, but I know that with the team we have this year things may go a little differently this year than they have in years past,” said Doshi.

The Vikings are close to competing for a championship.  While tennis is more of an individual sport, the scoring system makes every match count.  It is a cumulative scoring which means each match equals one point of a total seven available points.  The first singles is the same value as fourth doubles and the team recognizes that. They have developed an energetic environment on the team, with everybody keeping a positive, upbeat attitude and cheering on their teammates.

“We have a lot of characters on the team and veterans like myself, Chirag, Rosen, and Alex Grossman make it a very fun and an enthusiastic environment.  Also, just like any other sport, seeing your friends and teammates cheer you on elevates your performance,” said senior Max Mastbaum.

As far as the team’s expectations, they are not shy about admitting that they want to win it all.  Port is establishing itself as a powerhouse and is ready to compete for the right to raise a banner this season.