Senior Pate Hardison has been key to the girls tennis team's success.  Photo: Neil Derosa
Senior Pate Hardison was key to the girls tennis team’s success.
Photo: Neil DeRosa

The Pace varsity boys tennis team entered this season with the goal of improving upon its successful 2013 campaign, which included a region championship and an appearance in the state semi-finals. This year’s team was led by seniors Kal Golde, Daniel Gray, Jay Kumar, David Martos and Anshuman Parikh, who brought tremendous experience to the squad.

According to head coach Neil DeRosa, the most dramatic improvement among the seniors was seen in Jay Kumar. “[Jay] knew going into this season that he would most likely be playing number one singles and knew that he would have to step his game up a notch,” said Mr. DeRosa, “In a lot of cases, seniors have a tendency in tennis to get burned out. In Jay’s case, he went out and stepped up his conditioning and skill set in the off season by training harder. As a result, he reinvented his game. He’s stronger, more fit, and capable of competing with the best in the state.”

The boys defeated the likes of North Atlanta, Whitefield, Pinecrest and Galloway on their way to a regular season record of 7-2-1. In April, they won the region tournament, avenging a regular season loss to Holy Innocents’ in the finals. The boys made it all the way to the Final Four of the state tournament, defeating Aquinas of Augusta and Christian Heritage before getting stopped by a tough Brookstone team.

The varsity girls tennis team finished the season with a 10-2 regular season record, earning the top seed in the region tournament. The girls had only one senior on their roster, Pate Hardison, but received strong play from younger players throughout the season. “Zoe Weitzner came directly from varsity basketball and has played both number one and number two singles for us this year, which is quite an accomplishment,” said head coach Sarah Eden, “She is an amazing competitor and has only lost two matches all season. Her athleticism and determination have set a great example for the team.”

After a tremendous regular season, the girls won their region title at Blackburn Tennis Center. Like the boys, their final win came against the Holy Innocents’ Golden Bears. The girls made it to the Elite Eight of the state tournament, dominating Aquinas of Augusta before losing to Whitefield in a close contest.

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