The Foxes’ Boys’ Tennis Team concluded their outstanding season this weekend by winning the silver medal at the PIAA Class AAA championships. Their loss inthe finals to Lower Merion High School was the only blemish on an otherwise perfect year packed full of high achievements.
In his first season coaching the boys’ squad, Alex Slezak led them to win Fox Chapel Area High School’s first WPIAL boys’ tennis team champion’s title after recording a spotless season up until the state finals. The Foxes finished the year 20-1.
Seniors Sidd Rajupet and Tomi Fennell had phenomenal seasons, as did junior Neil Bencherif, sophomore Kurran Singh and freshmen Jay Kashap, Jared Nord and Robby Shymansky. TennisRecruiting.net touts Robby as the number one freshman college recruit in Pennsylvania.
The remainder of the varsity squad – senior Lucas Fennell, junior Jared Cohen and sophomore Karsten Lagerquist – also has been instrumental in getting wins in some of team’s toughest matches and in immeasurable ways on the practice court.
Sidd and Robby still have another opportunity to compete at the state level. Both players qualified for the 2016 PIAA Class AAA Boys' Singles TennisChampionships to be held May 27-28 at the Hershey Racquet Club.
“The whole season leading up to the state finals has been an opportunity for growth,” says Coach Slezak. “I can’t even count how many tennis and life lessons that have been learned this season. Perhaps one of the most important is not to let success go to your head. It is said that the wise man walks with the great and the small with equal dignity. When we lost in the state final they may have beaten our tennis game, but they had not defeated the people these young men have become.”
Most of all, the coach is proud of the team for embracing a culture of hard work, which was probably his main goal when coming on board. “That culture did everything. We had a lot of talent, but it was the hard work that took them as far as they did,” remarks Coach Slezak.
Congratulations to our players, Coach Slezak and assistant coach Bryan Deal for a job well done!