Boys’ tennis loses first match to Hopkins

Team looks to improve communication


Jane Anderson

Junior Haim Lyubeznik prepares to serve the ball to his opponent in the Orioles’ match against Mound Westonka on April 11. Park lost by a score of 3-4.

Alec Pittman and Atticus Raasch

Losing to Hopkins 1-6 and Mound Westonka 3-4, boys’ tennis head coach David Breitenbucher said he thinks the team performed well given how little practice it had.

“The preparation, with spring break being when it was and our first match being last week, there wasn’t a lot of team prep time that we had,” Breitenbucher said. “I think the biggest thing is how our players have improved in the offseason. I think that’s a big part of where we are at this year because there is not a lot of time before the first match.”

Junior Haim Lyubeznik said the team needs to focus on both individual and team aspects of their play.

“I would like the team to work a bit more on match play strategies in both singles and doubles,” Lyubeznik said. “Tryouts (were) Monday through Wednesday, so there (wasn’t) much time to prepare.”

Breitenbucher said the team’s play will grow as the players spend more time with one another.

“I think the biggest thing with the doubles is togetherness. We have doubles partners that just haven’t played a lot together and are still getting to know each other’s movements,” Breitenbucher said. “I think communication is huge in understanding your partner and working together but that is going to come with time.”

Senior captain Oscar Laing said the team has a number of focus areas for early season preparation.

“To prepare for the season we will do hitting practices, weight training, cardio workouts and distance runs in order to increase fitness and stamina,” Laing said. “That’s what we’ve been focusing on in our first practices.”

Breitenbucher said he isn’t worried about victories early in the season, but would rather like to see positive change in everyday practice.

“I think we have to take every chance we get when we’re on the court to improve, I think that’s the goal. The wins will take care of themselves if we keep focusing on just little baby steps and improving everyday,” Breitenbucher said. “You will be surprised where our players will be at the end of the year if we could just take little steps along the way.”

Laing said he feels the team should work on realistic situations to prepare for the beginning of the season.

“I would like to work on having the team play matches against each other (with players) at the same level,” Laing said.

Lyubeznik said he looks forward to the first meets because the team put in a lot of work during the offseason as well as the early season.

“I’m excited for our first meets because a lot more players have been playing in the offseason and showing up for captains’ practices and I am excited to see how that extra practice will transfer into the matches,” Lyubeznik said. “I think that we can do well this year as a team and beat schools that we usually aren’t able to beat.”

The team’s next meet is at 4 p.m. April 12 at Fridley High School against Fridley.