LAHS varsity boys tennis team ends their season after CCS quarterfinals loss


Dorie Xie

Junior Rohan Panchal and freshman Cyrus Ghaffari high-five after a doubles match.

On Tuesday, May 9, the Los Altos High School varsity boys tennis team ended their 2023 spring season with a 3–4 loss against the Gunn High School Titans in the Central Coast Section (CCS) quarterfinals.

Just the day before, the Eagles made their debut in the CCS championship bracket with a decisive 5–2 victory over the Monta Vista High School Matadors on Monday, May 8, entering the match with a 10–8 league record.

While the earlier game disadvantaged the Eagles as they entered their second consecutive game, this wasn’t a new experience for the team. All season, due to unexpected rain and poor weather, many of the team’s tournaments and games were canceled or moved.

“All season, the biggest challenge we had was dealing with the rain and all the rescheduling,” junior Jay Mallampati said. “Sometimes, we managed to play games three days in a row.”

Outside of technical issues, the Eagles’ advancement this season to the higher league caused difficulties in creating effective lineups and matchups against their opponents.

“The teams we played this season were a lot better than before,” co-captain junior Rohan Panchal said. “We had to figure out how to use our good players wisely to face these teams.”

“Looking back, we could have tried to change our lineups coming out of a loss,” sophomore Justin Wu said. “We often kept the same ones that just weren’t working well.”

Throughout their difficulties, the team still maintained strong morale and support each other, creating and preserving many new friendships on the team.

“While we’re in matches, we love to cheer each other on and give coaching tips after matches,” sophomore Naveen Mukherjee said. “And we’re always motivating each other, even when people are frustrated.”

“Some of my favorite memories with the team aren’t from on the court, it’s from the moments outside of tennis when we’re just friends,” Rohan said. “We’ll grab dinner together, or just hang out after matches.”

“The team knew when to have fun but also when to work hard,” Jay said. “Our practices and games have completely different vibes. In practice, we are playing music and laughing. In games, we’re all locked in and only thinking about the end result.”

With many strong players and a supportive and insightful coaching staff, the Eagles will move on with high ambitions for their next season.

“Becoming top three in our league is certainly doable next season,” Jay said. “Many other teams are losing seniors, but we’ll still have all of our top players, and we can only improve from here.”

“We’ve seen a lot of improvement this season,” Naveen said. “Some of our lower-ranked players have gotten much better, and next year we’ll be starting with a much stronger team.”

“My biggest takeaway is how much a team matters in tennis,” Naveen continued. “Tennis sometimes seems like an individual sport, but enough support from your team can really make or break a game.”