West Bloomfield High junior Aryan Kamath returns the ball during a recent practice. Kamath is a captain and plays No. 3 singles.

West Bloomfield High junior Aryan Kamath returns the ball during a recent practice. Kamath is a captain and plays No. 3 singles.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Despite early success, West Bloomfield tennis focused on staying consistent

By: Zachary Manning | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published September 20, 2018

 West Bloomfield sophomore Sahith Shankar prepares to return a ball during a recent practice. Shankar plays No. 1 doubles with Jacob Strome.

West Bloomfield sophomore Sahith Shankar prepares to return a ball during a recent practice. Shankar plays No. 1 doubles with Jacob Strome.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — The West Bloomfield High boys tennis team is off to a hot start, but Lakers coach Chris Ludwig wants his team to remain humble and focus on preparing for every opponent. 

The first-year coach is focusing on making sure his players are staying consistent and maintaining physical health.  

At press time, the Lakers were 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the Oakland Activities Association White Division. That hot start has the team expecting big things down the road. 

A big reason for the team’s success so far this year has been the play of No. 1 through No. 3 doubles. Ludwig called them the heart of the team, but also mentioned that his singles players have been strong as well. 

“I did pick up a team that was ready to go. This team did go to states last year, so it was already a pretty solid team,” Ludwig said. “Now it’s just having everyone feed into putting in a little more effort and having that more intense attitude going into matches than they have in the past.” 

He doesn’t want to change everything, but he wants to teach his team how to practice and prepare mentally for matches.

Multiple players agreed that Ludwig has helped them become better tennis players. However, the main thing that he has changed is the overall atmosphere. He’s helped the program become a closer group and they’ve been having fun, which has led to wins.

“He (Ludwig) really showed us what we can be. In terms of last year to now, that increase in our skill level is directly correlated with Chris becoming our coach,” senior Benji Efros said. “I think that he’s done a fantastic job just getting us drilling, getting us working hard and really just getting us up to that full potential that we always should have been at, but now we have the chance to be at.”

With the progress the team has made under its new coach, the Lakers have big goals for the rest of the year. They are working toward winning the league and earning a good seed for regionals. 

The main goal for the team is to make states and go on a run toward the state championship. The Lakers made it to states last year, but were unable to win a match.  This year, the team is motivated to return and show that it can compete with some of the top teams in the state. 

“At the beginning of the year, making states was the primary goal, but the way we’ve been playing, getting top five in states and maybe even winning states, we have a really good chance,” junior Aryan Kamath said. “Everyone on our team has gotten significantly better, and it’s going to be a great year.” 

The Lakers’ next match is at 4 p.m. Sept. 26 at Walled Lake Central.

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