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The Burlingame B

The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

The Student News Site of Burlingame High School

The Burlingame B

Boys’ tennis earns strong victory over Hillsdale

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Evelyn Du
Junior Nicolas Moshkovoy prepares to hit a backhand.

“We win together, we lose together.”

These words are echoed at every boys’ varsity tennis match — not just by head coach Doug Stone but by the entire boys’ tennis team. And the team doesn’t just throw around the mantra — it’s evident in everything they do. Whether it is shouting words of encouragement when a teammate is feeling frustrated, openness to play with different partners or even just staying an extra thirty minutes to watch a match, teamwork, open-mindedness, fun and bonding are at the core of this team.

But the boys’ resolve has been tested. Playing in a highly competitive league, boys’ tennis (2-3 Peninsula Athletic League Bay Division) has had mixed results, producing swift victories, crushing defeats and frustrating marginal losses. Despite this, they forge forward with a positive attitude.

“Everybody’s supportive of each other, win or lose. I’ve never seen anybody angry. They’ll get upset with themselves, but I don’t see anybody ever really upset with another,” Stone said. “The team started out that way, [and] it’s just gotten stronger.”

On Tuesday, March 12, the team’s dominant mental strength shone through en route to a strong 7-0 victory over Hillsdale.

The first two matches to finish resulted in matching 6-1, 6-2 victories by No. 2 singles sophomore Noah Chiang and No. 4 singles sophomore Kieran Kilgo.

Soon after, the doubles pairings followed suit with assertive victories of their own. Once the cohesive No. 1 doubles duo of seniors Chinmay Rao and Dylan Ares-Hanson won 6-2, 6-3, the Panthers were comfortably leading 5-0.

While the team had already won the match, junior Nicolas Moshkovoy at No. 1 singles and freshman Caleb Chou at No. 3 singles were still playing.

Chou, despite being the sole freshman playing in the top 10, impressed Stone and the team throughout tryouts. The longer points and defensive playstyle of his opponent tested his patience, but Chou hit the final, decisive shot for a strong 6-2, 6-3 win. 

“I told myself just to trust the process. Trust what I’ve learned over the years and trust that I can beat my opponent,” Chou said. “It’s certainly a big, big compliment to be put so high as a freshman because everyone around me is so much older.”

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  • No. 3 doubles sophomore Jake Druskin hits a forehand volley as his partner junior Donovan Ranta anticipates the next shot.

  • Freshman Caleb Chou typically plays at the No. 4 singles spot, but stepped up to No. 3 singles for the match against Hillsdale.

  • Seniors Chinmay Rao and Dylan Ares-Hanson played a focused, yet fun match together at No. 1 doubles.

The most intense, and long-awaited match was at the top singles position, where Moshkovoy prevailed 6-1, 4-6, 10-4. Throughout the match, he and his opponent exchanged powerful strokes at the baseline. In the end, Moshkovoy’s aggressive groundstrokes controlled the flow of the tiebreaker and led the team to a flawless 7-0 victory.

“I got a little unfocused, which cost me the second set,”  Moshkovoy said. “I said to stay in the moment, play your game, stay loose, but swing hard. [The tiebreaker was] all or nothing, if you win, you win, if you lose, you lose.”

While boys’ tennis will continue to focus on collective effort and adaptability, their dominant performance against Hillsdale is an encouraging sign that more victories are around the corner.

“There’s a lot of pressure [on us], but pressure is a privilege, I like it,” Moshkovoy said. “Pressure makes me want to play harder and represent the team.”

Stone recognizes the team’s commitment to enduring this pressure together.

“[This team’s] dynamic in an individual sport [makes] it a team sport,” Stone said. “I know it’s cliche to say ‘We win together, we lose together,’ but I think we do. I think we do that pretty well.”

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About the Contributor
Evelyn Du, Staff Reporter
Evelyn Du is a sophomore at Burlingame High School and a first-year journalism student. She can’t wait to learn more about her community and contribute to the school newspaper. Outside of school, she enjoys playing tennis, hanging with friends, watching movies, and baking with her sister. Throughout the year, she hopes to improve her interpersonal skills while interviewing and is so excited to be apart of journalism.
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