Season recap: Seniors reflect on boys’ tennis experience

Josh Yuen, Author

Junior Adrian Smith will look to make his fourth and final year his best when tennis resumes next season. Photo by Sam Lee.
Junior Adrian Smith will try to make his fourth and final year his best when tennis resumes next season. Photo by Sam Lee.

Despite an injury-riddled season and the departure of several key seniors, members of the Palo Alto High School boys’ tennis team are excited for what next season will bring, even with the departure of several key seniors.

The Vikings failed to reach the Central Coast Section playoffs this season, but juniors Jerry Hong, Adrian Smith and Henry Badger, sophomore Hunter North, and freshmen Adam Love and Antony Georgiadis all participated in Santa Clara Valley Athletic League postseason play. None of the players advanced past the SCVAL rounds.

According to senior captain Shiv Matta, who suffered a concussion midway before the start of the De Anza League regular season, minor injuries frequently prevented the team from playing up to its full potential.

“It was a tough season because we had a lot of injuries and a lot of people missed time,” Matta said. “Our lineup had to keep changing to accommodate that, but nonetheless it was another fun season with the team.”

Although Matta and fellow seniors Drew Embersits and Carl Goodfriend are frustrated by the tough season, they say that they are excited for the team’s future.

“It was a tough season with injuries and the like, but a lot of underclassmen performed really well, which means a lot of potential for the future,” Embersits said. “Overall it was a good season with only better ones ahead.”

The leadership role will be assumed by Smith, a varsity player since his freshman year, and other rising seniors including Badger and Hong.

Goodfriend recalls team bonding activities as one of the top highlights of his Paly career.

“I really enjoyed all of the creative cheers we came up with over the years,” Goodfriend said.

As for Matta, who is thinking of walking on to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tennis team in the future, his favorite memories consist of the team’s competitive tournaments in Fresno.

“My favorite moments were the two Fresno trips I was a part of,” Matta said. “Sophomore year we won the back-draw [losers play a minimum of three matches] tournament and last year we won it all so they were two great trips with a lot of success and a lot of fun.”