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TENNIS: Varsity boys off to record start

%28GEORGE+HUGHES%2FEYE+OF+THE+TIGER%29+Doubles+pair+seniors+Clay+Bradley%2C+front%2C+and+Braden+Triplett%2C+back+left%2C+await+their+opponent%E2%80%99s+volley+at+practice+last+week.+The+duo+is+undefeated+in+league+play+and+has+been+a+major+factor+in+the+team%E2%80%99s+historical+7-3+start+to+the+league+season.
(GEORGE HUGHES/EYE OF THE TIGER) Doubles pair seniors Clay Bradley, front, and Braden Triplett, back left, await their opponent’s volley at practice last week. The duo is undefeated in league play and has been a major factor in the team’s historical 7-3 start to the league season.

(GEORGE HUGHES/EYE OF THE TIGER) Doubles pair seniors Clay Bradley, front, and Braden Triplett, back left, await their opponent’s volley at practice last week. The duo is undefeated in league play and has been a major factor in the team’s historical 7-3 start to the league season.

(GEORGE HUGHES/EYE OF THE TIGER) Doubles pair seniors Clay Bradley, front, and Braden Triplett, back left, await their opponent’s volley at practice last week. The duo is undefeated in league play and has been a major factor in the team’s historical 7-3 start to the league season.

BRANDON DEL ROSARIO

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The varsity boys tennis team has never qualified for playoffs since the program started, but the team is on track to make history this year. With a 7-3 record in Capital Valley Conference play, the Tigers are currently in third place and have already surpassed last year’s record of 4-10.

On paper, the team looks inexperienced with many new players and underclassmen. However, a significant change in the team’s attitude has set them apart this season.

Second-year player senior Braden Triplett feels that it is the increased focus and seriousness that has allowed the boys to be so successful thus far.

“We’re taking [tennis] a lot more serious,” Triplett said. “We’re still having fun, but we’re getting things done.”

“Getting things done,” as Triplett calls it, includes defeating the Oakmont Vikings in a head-to-head match, marking the first time the Tigers have done so in 14 years, and upsetting the Cosumnes Oaks Wolfpack in an away clash – the first place team prior to the match.

The duo of Triplett and fellow senior Clay Bradley remains undefeated so far in league play and has been vital to the Tigers’ success, as the team has won more than a few of its matches by only a single game.

Bradley feels that the overall strength of the team’s doubles pairs has been key to their wins so far, as doubles games occur later on in the matches and oftentimes decide the ultimate victor.
Even so, he has been impressed with the performances of the singles as well.

Because of their newfound success, the Tigers have a program-wide goal of finally making it to the playoffs. If the task is completed, the 2017 boys tennis team will be remembered as the first team in the program to make it there.

Four-year tennis player Oliver Magsakay believes the desire for playoffs is what is pushing the team to new heights.

“We have never made playoffs, but this year we have a solid group of guys,” Magsakay said. “Us wanting to make it is what keeps us going.”

With this season’s results so far, the Tigers have now set the bar high for the future of the tennis program. Magsakay doesn’t want just one winning season; he would rather see the culture and popularity of tennis grow in years to come.

“I want other teams to be afraid of Roseville in the future,” Magsakay said. “I’d hope to see a lot more people join the team in the future after witnessing our success this year.”

With the Tigers’ confidence at an all-time high, they prepare for their next match versus 4-7 (league play) Bella Vista tomorrow at home.

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