Commanding Rhythm of Play, Varsity Tennis Wins 10-2 Over Dripping Springs

Catharine Li, Horizon Editor-in-Chief

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  • Pulled out wide, Brooke Xu ’24 dashes to return her opponent’s shot. In addition to singles, Xu also partnered with Brian Zhang ’24 in mixed doubles to prevail 8-3 over their opponents.

  • Making contact with the ball, Devon Zhang ’26 finishes a deep cross-court backhand shot. Zhang was down 2-3 in his singles match as the full team victory was called.

  • Following through on a powerful forehand, Evan Lai ’23 ensures well-placed ground strokes. Lai joined the varsity team this year, and is ranked 58th in Texas for the senior class of 2023.

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Potency and precision melded elegantly in yet another win by the Varsity tennis team, 10-2 over Dripping Springs on Friday, Sept. 16.

Freshmen newcomers, who developed an understanding of match play demands alongside existing team traditions, exhibited such capability most notably through doubles, as evident between partners Alek Mesarovic ‘24 and Daniel Zhang ‘26 in 8-1 success. Line one girls’ doubles duo Simryn Jacob ‘24 and Janya Tellabati ‘26 also swept their opponents 8-0 with polished composure reflective of disciplined preparation and the leadership imparted through natural seniority.

“We practice staying consistent through recovery shots,” Tellabati said. “Whenever we are in trouble, we try to get the ball back, and hit in a spot where it would give us time to come back. A lot of us at Westwood have been taught to be aggressive players rather than defensive players, and defense is something we are trying to improve on.”

A strong start in doubles facilitated the rest of the afternoon, where Brooke Xu ‘24 secured a breezy 8-2 victory in girls’ singles. On the boys’ side, Arjun Rajan ‘25 won 8-2, a triumph echoed by teammates whose encouraging words added to the spirited environment. Missing several players absent due to outside tournament participation, JV team members were asked to fill in and demonstrate a heightened proficiency on the court.

“I’ve been learning to play under the nerves,” JV player Nilan Nathan ‘25 said. “Repetitions through practice makes perfect, and this season, I look forward to making varsity.”

Embellishing a 10-1 overall season record, the team employs an individualized approach to each opportunity given, regardless of competition outcome to build a more robust and expansive skillset. Anticipating their upcoming matchup against number six region-ranked Vandegrift, classic rivalries hold no more significance than standard games.

“We’re ready to bring the heat, and with our team dynamic this year, the seniors are stepping up in different ways. We have great camaraderie and I’m excited to see how close this team can get,” Head Coach Travis Dalrymple said.

Watch the Warriors take on the Vipers at Vandegrift High School on Wednesday, Sept. 21.