The Malden High School boys tennis team has faced many obstacles but they’re still managing to keep their spirits up. Junior Danny Chen expresses that “this season was a tough season because we lost many great players last year.” The team has had to adjust to the loss of five seniors. Currently, the team only consists of two seniors, captain Evans Liang and Peng Fei Feng.
Neither Feng or Liang plan on joining the team for their college, but they will continue on playing as a hobby. Liang says that now, he is just focusing on “giving them everything [he] has to prepare them for upcoming seasons.” Although it’s only Feng’s first season, he’s built a strong bond with the team and states that he will “miss them greatly.” Chen describes that “losing [Liang] will be hard for him because he’s taught him so much about the game.” Junior Allan La expresses the thing he’ll miss most about the seniors is “the teasing the most and leadership. The seniors this year have been fun to play with and been welcoming. They interact with everyone on the team and creates this friendly aura.”
With a record of 2-14, the team is hoping to use this season as a building season. La describes that “even though [their] record isn’t positive or amazing, the point of the season is to get better.” Coach and MHS teacher Jayson Payeur states that he is “confident [for next season] in the sense that the team is still young and next year they will be older and more mature.”
The team is eager to for next year to achieve a successful season. They will continue to work hard throughout the summer and sophomore captain Piero Pocobene said that “if everyone puts in their work, [they will] have a solid team and a better season.” Pocobene also explained that because “[they’ve] only lost one varsity senior” will hopefully benefit the team greatly next season.
At a home game versus Somerville, the tennis team lost with a score of 0-5. On May 13, 2013, the team went up against North Reading at Ameridge with a losing score of 0-5. Against Cambridge, the team had a close game with a loss if 2-3. On May 20, 2013, the team had their last home game against Medford, losing 1-4. The team closed their season with a game against Salem that also concluded with a loss of 1-4.
Despite their losses, the team is still high in spirit. Payeur stated that he is “happy and satisfied with the season because they never quit on me and they worked their best.” The team is planning on practicing all throughout the summer and practicing one day a week until next season starts. They will work hard to improve some fundamentals and mechanics such as better communication, having proper backhands, and overall being more consistent on the court” says Payeur. La expresses “the season isn’t a total lost, it’s just a stepping stone into the real season next year where Malden becomes a threat.”