State Champion Runners Up: Green Hope Men’s Tennis

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photo by Green Hope Athletics

Green Hope Men’s Tennis shows off their success at the State 4A Championships

Arnav Praveen and Neely Mallik

On Saturday, May 14th, The Green Hope Falcons Men’s Tennis Team traveled to the Piedmont Indoor Tennis Center in Greensboro, North Carolina for the 4A State Championship. Although they were unable to to bring home the title; state runner-ups is no small feat and the young, but determined, Falcons have a bright future to look forward to.

Leading up to the State Championship, the team started the year off with nine straight victories, before a close loss against rival Panther Creek. They followed this singular loss with another ten resounding victories to close out conference play. Almost every win on the season was in blowout fashion, with impressive play from both the singles and doubles aspects of the game. Many matches were determined by scores of 9-0 or 8-1, indicating complete dominance of the other team. To put this in perspective,  NCHSAA high school tennis is scored by three doubles matches and six singles matches being played by selected members of each team. Each match is worth one point for the winner, and whoever earns the majority of points out of nine matches wins the tennis match. Winning several of their games without letting the other team record a point is a remarkable statistic, and a tangible sign of the Falcons’ strong play this year.

Always treat practices like a match and keep a high intensity level.”

— Team Captain Naresh Bharathy

Sophomore Max Cheng stated his favorite individual accomplishment of the season was “winning many big matches in their second showing against rivals Panther Creek”. After finishing out the regular season with a revenge win against the Catamounts, Green Hope then started the playoffs against Hoggard, winning 5-1 then playing CAP 7 opponent Leesville Road and winning by the same margin. They went on to defeat Pinecrest and Cardinal Gibbons in the semifinal before being slated against Marvin Ridge in the NCHSAA 4A State Final. Although the team fell short of the mark, they won a majority of singles play and remained competitive in all the matches. Team captain and senior Naresh Bharathy describes his State Championship experience, “Being in the State Championship this year was very special for me because I was able to play alongside a team that was almost completely new this year. I was the only senior and our results showed others that this team has championship potential in the future.” 

Bharathy then said his advice to his younger teammates is, “have a goal for each practice and at the end, feel like something was specifically done to achieve that goal. Always treat practices like a match and keep a high intensity level.” This team, full of underclassmen, was able to carry this determined mindset into their games and this year’s playoff run was a motivating sign for upcoming seasons. Cheng said the most important thing he learned from the tennis season was “making the best of what you have.” If the returning Falcons continue making the best of what they have similar to this season, the team will be sure to achieve many State Championship titles in years to come.