DV’s most successful sports team continues to receive unwavering cold support


Shawn Jiang and Christian Alvarez

There is a dynasty beginning to make its mark in Dougherty Valley history. Despite what one may think, it is not the frequently popularized and lionized Men’s Football or Basketball Teams, nor is it the proud and storied DV Forensics team. Instead, it is the Men’s Tennis team that is garnering massive victories and numerous accolades in the last five years.

The Men’s Tennis Team has quietly become the most successful team in Dougherty Valley history in the past three years, clubs and sports teams included. Statistically, no team in Dougherty has ever been as decorated as the Men’s Tennis team. Winner of back-to-back NCS titles and back-to-back CIF finalists. In addition to compiling a regular season record of 36-0 over the course of the last three seasons in one of the hardest divisions in the country, the Men’s Tennis team at Dougherty has also been recognized as one of the top 16 tennis teams in the nation by being invited to the Tennis All-American in Newport Beach, LA, for two consecutive years.

Yet, it seems that Dougherty, a school which glorifies all of its accomplishments and other individual’s awards linked to the school, continually neglects praising the Men’s Tennis team for its achievements.

Part of the reason why the Men’s Tennis team has been neglected is due to a misguided stigma against the sport of tennis within the DV’s student body, many viewing it as being “inferior” to other sports in a few aspects such as physicality. Contrary to popular belief, Tennis, especially the training regimen practiced by the Wildcats Men’s Team, is actually taxing.

“Most days we don’t even need to bring a racket because we’ll probably end up conditioning the entire time anyway,” claimed senior and four time varsity member Sarthak Baluja minutes before going to tennis practice.

Structure-wise, tennis is extremely unique in the fact that although in high school it is considered a team sport, outside of high school or college, tennis is an individual sport. Tennis in high school works by having 9 individual matches and the team with more wins in those individual matches wins the overall team match. The individuality aspect of tennis arises with the sport’s demand on both the mind and the body of the player during a match and in preparation.

“In other sports, such as football or basketball, you can take a substitution when you are tired or having a bad performance, but in tennis, there is no one but yourself,” explains senior, four time varsity member and Co-Captain Anuj Kotecha.

Varsity member Camden Pham agrees that “In other sports, you can switch out with bench players, but in tennis you are out there for all two and a half hours”.

The physical demands of tennis are quite substantial as well. “Although tennis requires complete mental endurance and strength, matches can last for a couple of hours, heavily taxing the body physically as well. You can’t believe that you can win a match if you know you can’t physically keep up,” says Varsity Men’s Tennis player Akaash Kambath. “That’s why we condition so hard, and that’s part of what makes tennis unique. The combination of heavy physical, mental, and technical demands of the sport is truly unparalleled.”

Tennis, upon shallow inspection, can be easily deemed a dull and effortless sport. What one must understand to appreciate the sport of tennis is the amount of physical conditioning that occurs behind the scenes in preparation for matches. Furthermore, the amount of mental maturity and acuity needed to excel in the sport is immensely high. Dougherty Valley’s Tennis Program has shaped itself into a well oiled winning machine in the last three years and should be appreciated, or at the very least recognized, for the insurmountable amount of effort it has asserted in order to become the most successful sports team in Dougherty Valley’s history.