TROY — The Troy High boys tennis team viewed the Oakland Activities Association Red Division as a chance to show the rest of the league that it was the best around.
The Colts tied their final dual match of the season against Birmingham Groves, which put them in a tie for first place with Rochester Adams during the regular season.
“This year, we had a couple rough matches where we didn’t play our best. We were excited to go into the league tournament with something to play for and knew that in order for us to win the tournament, we’d have to play our best,” coach Brian Miska said. “It was cool to see all eight flights rise to the occasion and play their best.”
Troy won the tournament Oct. 1, giving the program its third straight Red championship.
“I think it was huge. Knowing that we were going for the third time in a row, it was huge to win the championship,” senior captain Vinai Reddy said. “I feel like we grew as a team and showed it at the tournament.”
At press time, the Colts were 8-1-2 overall. They finished 5-0-2 in the Red.
Miska said the tie with Groves was a “wake-up call” for the squad, that even though it had won two previous titles and had nine returning starters from last year’s team, a strong effort is needed to win each week.
“We had a conversation with the guys ... and they rose to the occasion,” the coach said. “It’s not easy to play when you’re the favorite the whole way through.”
The doubles squads led the Colts. Miska called it his deepest team he’s ever coached and said all four squads could play anywhere between No. 1-4.
In the tournament, all four made the finals, with the No. 2 squad (Vince Thieu and Sachin Ketkar) and No. 4 team (Kevin Fietsam and Mark Elinski) winning championships.
The Colts now turn their attention to regional action. Troy is at Grosse Pointe South Oct. 10. A top-two finish, in some cases a top-three, qualifies a team for the finals. Athens will be in the South regional, as well.
Last season, the Colts finished fourth in the state in Division 1. Miska said the goal to place in the top three this time around. He believes the team’s schedule, which he called the toughest in the state, has them prepared.
“We play everybody that’s anybody, so when it comes to the state tournament, we’ve seen it all,” he said. “The tough competition gets us ready.”
Reddy feels that the team has what it takes to accomplish its goal.
“The teams at the top level are pretty tough, but I feel that if we play our best games, we can beat them,” he said.