RM boys tennis shuts out Blake in season opener

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Mia Deng

“This is great tennis weather!” Coach Fahrner exclaimed as he walked onto the courts Monday for the boys tennis season opener against Blake. The team would go on to win the game with an overall score of 7-0.

There was a lot of anticipation over the new lineup, with freshmen at the first and third singles positions and senior captain Chris Chen’s return with a fully healed wrist to fourth singles.

Each individual player competed their hearts out and finished sets with significant leads over their opponents, finishing about an hour after the start of the match. Then all eyes turned to freshman Justin Song who was battling fiercely with his opponent Sean Billerback.

The two have clashed previously in outside tournaments, with Billerback ranked tenth in mid-Atlantic and Song twenty-second. In two previous showdowns, Billerback won in the third set. However, this time the winds were blowing in Song’s favor. Even after winning the first set 6-3 and losing the second 2-6, Song’s mental game remained stable as he headed into the third set.

The set began with a break by Billerback, but Song’s aggressive yet consistent shots kept him neck and neck with his competition. Song was always one game behind, until the very end when Song managed to win three consecutive games, leading to his victory of 7-5 in the last set after a two and a half hour match and ultimately giving the Rockets their seventh win against Blake.

This year, the boys team is looking to compete in division one among powerhouses such as Whitman and Wootton. The strong 7-0 start to the season against a division two school boosted morale among the team as they prepare for the rest of the season.