OPHS boys tennis team wins second-straight league championship

Team’s successful Division 1 CIF journey comes to a close

On the evening of April 20, Oak Park High School’s boys tennis team clinched back-to-back league championships with their solidifying win against Adolfo Camarillo High School. The team was undefeated in league play and nearly undefeated with an overall season record of 13-1.

“I feel confident about this season, the team has improved a lot even compared to last year and I totally see us winning at least our league and maybe a solid run in CIF,” junior Drew Koval said. 

The team has played 14 matches, and with each win, the pressure and competition increase. With tennis oftentimes being a sport with single players from each team on the court, team spirit and bonding can become a low point for most teams, but not for Oak Park.

“I’ve been trying to increase the team spirit during matches, more cheering, trying to bring more people to the matches which has worked pretty well. I also think it’s important that we plan events outside the tennis courts such as team dinner to help build relationships between the players,” Koval said. 

Adam Nielson has been able to provide help by being on both sides throughout the course of his life – a former athlete and current coach. He played junior tennis at Cal Lutheran University. He has been coaching for only two years and has led the boys to a successful season so far. 

“Our coach has been a huge help and has done a great job getting the players to work together as a team,” Koval said. 

The first round of CIF began Friday, May 5 with a win against Foothill High School. After a hard fought battle, the team lost 13-5 against Calabasas. 

“We’ve grown so much over the past four years. I don’t think I’d dreamt of even winning league,” said Ronith Vishal in an interview with the Acorn. “We’re looking to improve each and every year. Even next year, we’re planning for a three-peat.”