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Senior-heavy HHS boys tennis among state’s best

by | May 30, 2023 | Sports

With eight seniors on this year’s roster and a wealth of experience up and down the lineup, Hopkinton High School boys tennis coach Mike Miller had the sense that this could be one of his better teams. Through the regular season, the Hillers lived up to the billing, winning 15 of their first 16 matches and earning a top-10 ranking in the state with the playoffs on deck.

“[Going] 15-1 overall, undefeated in the Tri-Valley League, for sure this is one of the best years we have had yet,” Miller said just before the final week of the regular season. “We lost a couple of key guys from last year, but we felt like we had the depth to fill those spots.”

Depth has been crucial to Hopkinton’s success this spring. The Hillers’ ability to put a number of players on the court who can compete has led to intense battles in practice and challenge matches to earn court time.

“It just makes our practices very competitive day in and day out,” Miller said.

In fact, Miller only recently settled on his doubles teams late in the season, even as Hopkinton was piling up win after win.

“They were all consistently getting better and getting each other better,” he said. “It was just about finding the right combination.”

Senior Lex Kaye earned the No. 1 singles spot and won his first 16 matches, including tough nonleague victories over the best players from Brookline, Wayland, Algonquin and Wachusett, in addition to the TVL slate.

In the team’s only loss against Brookline, Kaye still earned a victory, which was a lift for both him and the team as a whole.

“We didn’t win that match, but it was good to see the kids loosen up and start realizing that they can play with the top-echelon teams,” Miller said.

Seniors Adam Glace and Pranav Kapur have been the second and third singles players through most of the season, and both racked up double-digit win totals.

The doubles teams heading into the tournament will be anchored by sophomore Rishit Shekhar and senior Barry Wang along with senior Andrew Palacios and sophomore Ilian Glace (Adam’s brother). Senior Roberto Rossi also could figure into the mix, but he has been battling an injury, Miller said.

Hopkinton will enter the tournament as one of the top teams in Division 2, and while Miller said there are some talented squads ranked ahead of his, it will come down to who is playing their best tennis at the right time.

“These guys are looking forward to getting there, and they have battled some of the best teams already,” Miller said. “It’s going to be a tough tournament, and we just have to stay as focused and engaged as possible. I know they are hungry and they want to play more tennis.”


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