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West Bloomfield

West Bloomfield High tennis looking to keep tradition alive

October 2, 2013

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West Bloomfield High junior Kevin Rothstein hits a forehand in a match earlier this season. The No. 1 singles player has a goal of finishing All-State.

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Kevin Rothstein remembers heading up to the West Bloomfield High tennis courts to watch his older brother, Peter, dispose of yet another opponent.

Now a junior, Rothstein is patrolling those same baselines that his brother handled so well as the No. 1 singles player for the Lakers, following in Peter’s footsteps, who finished as an All-State selection his senior year in 2009 and plays singles for Kalamazoo College.

“I used to watch him all the time. Pete was definitely an offensive player,” Rothstein said. “He had a big serve and a big forehand. My return and serve is great because I used to hit with Pete and return his serve, so it makes everyone else’s serve look easier.”

Rothstein has his own All-State aspirations and looks to keep the tradition of having talented players at No. 1 singles for the Lakers.

In 2011, the Michigan High School Tennis Coaches’ Association named West Bloomfield’s Andrew Cahn Mr. Tennis.

“We’ve had some pretty strong No. 1’s,” said coach Larry Stark, who has been with the program for six years and added that Rothstein is in line with that tradition.

At press time, Rothstein was 10-3 overall. The Lakers as a team were 5-8-2 and 1-2-1 in the Oakland Activities Association Red Division.

“Kevin is steady all-around. He has a great ground-stroke game, great serve and he’s real fit. He likes to run a lot and have 25-hit rallies. He’s a baseliner that’s getting stronger,” Stark said. “Peter was a little more serve and volley than Kevin, but they’re similar in their ground strokes.”

Stark said his conversations with Rothstein are mostly about strategy, as he is working on playing more aggressively.

“We talk about where to put the ball when, when to move in and off of what shot — all kinds of on-court strategy,” Stark said. “He’s getting stronger match by match, year by year.”

Stark added that the team is also improving with each match.

Junior Daniel Eilender holds down the No. 2 singles spot, with junior Jonathan Nirenberg at No. 3 and senior Max Sandberg playing No. 4.

In doubles, juniors Gabe Villa and Max Singer are No. 1; seniors Dan Wu and Jason Schwartz play No. 2; senior Jake Kroll and sophomore David Filanovsky take the court at No. 3; and juniors Josh Jonkelovitz and Rupin Balabhdra play No. 4.

“We have a good team that is getting better,” Stark said.

Catch the Lakers against Clarkston High at 4 p.m. Oct. 4 at home.

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