Boys’ tennis grows through losses

Slow start motivates players


Kimon Malone

Senior Jared Zirkes serves a ball in their match against Robbinsdale Cooper April 18.

Despite a 1-7 record to start to the season, senior captain Oscar Laing said he remains hopeful that the team will pull through before the end of the school year.

“Even though we didn’t win the first few matches, I felt OK because I know we are a very young team with a lot of potential,” Laing said.

Head coach David Breitenbucher said the team opted for a tough schedule to prepare it for difficult conference matches.

“I always feel that the best thing to do is put a tough non-conference schedule together to get us more prepared for what we are going to face in conference,” Breitenbucher said. “We have taken some losses but the competition we are playing at is pretty good so I think you have to take our record with a grain of salt.”

Perkins said the coaches helped motivate the players for the end of the season.

“Our coaches had a heart-to-heart with us last practice. They said they noticed were not putting a lot of effort in,” Perkins said. “Our drive to win really is just going to have to come from us and how much effort we can put on the courts.”

Breitenbucher said playing against higher competition provides a platform for the team to improve.

“When you go against opponents that are good it elevates your game, there is just no question about that,” Breitenbucher said. “Figuring out how to play, figuring out how to compete against the best players that are out there, I think it does us a world of good.”

Breitenbucher said although beneficial, there are dangers to a tough schedule.

“The only danger is you take too many losses and it can start working on you mentally,” Breitenbucher said. “You start questioning things but with the right attitude and the right coaching (the team can do well).”

Laing said early losses can aid the team in growth.

“(The losses) could be beneficial because now that we are playing conference matches, we are more aggressive and more competitive to make up for our losses,” Laing said.

Breitenbucher said he expects change for the team with the upcoming matches.

“If you talk to me a week from now I bet we will rack up a couple of wins this week and hopefully next week we will get a couple more,” Breitenbucher said. “Two weeks from now I think our record will look totally different because of the tough non-conference schedule we have played.”

The team’s next match takes place at 4:15 p.m May 9 at St. Louis Park High School against Robbinsdale Cooper