Mitchell Runkle | Staff Writer
During their first match of the year tonight, the men’s tennis team will take on a talented Park Tudor team that has advanced to state finals in all of the last seven seasons. Failing to beat Park Tudor over the previous three years, the team realizes the importance that this match holds on the rest of its season.
“After losing to them in semi-state last year and not really being that close to beating them the least few years, this would be a huge win,” No. 1 singles player Trey Thixton said. “I think it would provide the confidence that the team really needs.”
Despite the tough losses to Park Tudor in previous seasons, the team is still confident in its ability to win this match. With the team’s only graduation loss being No. 1 doubles player Eli Lawyer-Smith, the experienced team knows exactly what needs to happen in order to win.
“The most important thing is for us to come out with a lot of energy and intensity and go all-in until the very end of the match,” No. 3 singles player Mason Runkle said. “Park Tudor has always been a very good team, but we just need to trust that we finally have the talent to beat teams like them.”
One of the most difficult matches of the day will come at the No. 1 singles position. Senior Trey Thixton will battle Park Tudor’s Aidan Harris in what will certainly be a grueling match for both.
“I haven’t ever beaten Aidan, and I’ve been playing him since I was 12,” Thixton said. “I just need to have the confidence that I can beat him and that I belong with the top players.
With this being their first match of the season, a win over a team as talented as Park Tudor would help to set the tone for the rest of the season, giving the team the confidence they’ve been missing during the last few years.
“It would be a really amazing way to start off the season,” senior JT Embrey said. “It would really help to strengthen our mental state after the last few seasons and help us know where we stand against some of the better teams.”