Boys finish week with key wins

With four returning seniors ranked within their top six, the boys tennis team has the experience needed to compete with any team in the Patriot District. However, having lost their number one player from 2010, the Atoms have had to prove their worth as a competitor, a challenge they have embraced throughout the season’s first half.

Eight matches into their season, the team boasted a 5-3 record following a 3-6 loss to South County and wins over Robert E. Lee and T.C. Williams last week.

“We played well considering we needed a bounce back win after losing to South County on Monday,” senior Erik Morton said following their defeat of the Titans. “Our 9-0 sweep of Lee and 7-2 win over T.C. instilled a lot of confidence into our team going into our matches next week.”

Despite the team’s success thus far, senior Luis Parrado admits that the Atoms had a chance to win all of their matches last week.

“We played well, but we should have beat South County, they weren’t better than us,” he said.

Parrado, however, remains confident in the team’s ability and believes that they will be able to build on their early success.

“We have improved greatly throughout the first half of the season because everyone understands each other’s style of play, and that will help us with the tougher matches against Lake Braddock and Woodson,” he said.

Senior JP Ramirez took a similar perspective on the team’s play so far this year.

“The team has improved in the first half and we’re going to keep improving through the whole season,” Ramirez said. “There is always something new you can work on in tennis.”

Now over halfway through their 2011 season, the Atoms have only limited chances to prove that they are ready for both district and regional competition. Of their remaining matches, two are against schools that the team has already lost to this year.

“Hopefully we can beat South County, and if we can beat West Springfield again, we have a real shot to make the playoffs,” Head Coach Mike Scott said.

Despite the challenges ahead, Morton remains confident that the team will be able to improve its record and gain momentum heading into the postseason.

“During the earlier matches in the season, we weren’t able to win games at the crucial moments,” he said. “However, as we gain more experience, we are winning more and more crucial points and games.”

Parrado also believes that the Atoms will be able to “end the season with a great record.”

“All we have to do now is play smart and aggressive and focus on one match at a time,” he said.