Season preview: Boys’ tennis looks to rebuild

    Blake Smith, the number one seed last year will not be returning along with seven other seniors. Photo by Grant Shorin

    Blake Smith, the number one seed last year will not be returning along with seven other seniors. Photo by Grant Shorin

    After losing in the second round of the Central Coast Section playoffs to top ranked Menlo School last year, the Palo Alto High boys’ tennis team looks to rebuild this season starting tomorrow with a match against Sacred Heart.

    With the loss of seven seniors, including the team’s top three players, coach Andy Harader has shifted expectations from last season.

    “We’re not going to improve on 14-7 [last season] with seven starters graduating,” Harader said. “So this is a retooling season. It’s a matter of reestablishing starter spots.”

    Harader acknowledged that playing in the top league in Northern California is a double-edged sword.

    “In a way, it’s good because we play the best, but the downside to it is [since] we’re in a down year right now, we’ll be at the bottom of the league,” Harader said.

    Junior captain Shiv Matta said that the team can still be successful despite the loss of key players.

    “I’m expecting everyone to improve their game,” Matta said. “It’s a young group, but I think we can do well if we play hard all season and compete day in and day out.”

    The boys’ first match will be at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday at Sacred Heart High School.

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