Dougherty Valley Varsity Men’s Tennis aims to dominate the 2022 season


Anaisha Das

DVHS Varsity Men’s Tennis team works hard during practices to overcome their weaknesses.

Mayukhi Katragadda and Anaisha Das

As spring begins, so does Dougherty Men’s Tennis, and with a variety of new, hard working players with a passion for the sport, they plan to dominate this season. The team prepares every day with games on Tuesdays and Thursdays and two hour long practices on the others. 

“We’ve always had lots of talent on this team. In the last month we’ve definitely improved a whole bunch, since we’ve been practicing daily and playing matches weekly,” Coach Akshay Arora said. 

Tryouts for the team, which began on Feb. 8, also introduced new talented players. According to the team captain, Somya Rathee, tryouts were the “largest in tennis history [at DV]” as approximately 80 students tried out for the sport, excluding those who were on the team last year. 

The tough competition in tryouts resulted in only the best young players being chosen for the varsity team, and ultimately, only one freshman was picked. 

Arora further explained that “there’s a lot of players and actually quite a few really talented young freshmen, that maybe if they’d had a little bit more experience, they would have made the team.”  He also expressed his interest in wanting them to work harder and come back next year to try out. 

However, these longer-than-usual tryouts may have caused a little difficulty for the existing team. Instead of having two weeks of practice before the season starts, the team lacked this transitional phrase and struggled with not having enough practice before the first competitions. Nevertheless, the team makes up for it with a longer practice schedule now. 

Freshman Arnav Nallani explained, “Since I started on the tennis team, [I’ve been practicing] five days a week, almost every day. This was a lot more tiring because before joining, it was only once or twice a week.”

The team’s spirit and supportive nature are what make the hard work and dedication worthwhile for many members. During their games, the team often cheers for each other during their matches and doesn’t get discouraged by losses. 

“Everyone’s just really supportive of each other and we keep pushing each other to be better,” Nallani said.  

Arora also spoke of the team’s teamwork and developing bonds, especially after the addition of new members. 

“They’re starting to come together and become closer. Some of them didn’t really know each other, so they’re becoming friends, [which] I think will elevate the energy amongst each other,” he said. 

The team dealt with two major losses between Amador Valley and Foothill High School, their intense rivals. However, DVHS has a second chance to compete against these teams in the latter half of the season and potentially beat them. Until then, they work to grow and improve their game. 

“Coach has been giving us a lot of opportunities to get better, and we as a team have gotten better over the last month and a half,” sophomore Arjun Premnath said. “He gives us a lot of drills, and identifies what we could have worked on in previous matches.”

They have won (number of games they have won so far) and plan to continue winning in order to meet their goal of taking number one in the NCS (North Coast Section). 

“It’s basically like a competition with all of North California, kind of like states. So if our record is good enough against these teams in our league, we will be able to participate,” Premnath explained. 

Along with taking number one in NCS, the team also hopes to just “win championships” according to Nallani. 

“It’s a matter of allowing them to play their own game styles and not trying to change. Let them make their strength stronger and make their weaknesses a little more neutral — if we can just make the weaknesses neutral, we’re on the right track,” Arora said.