Boys tennis rallied for an incredible season


Photo by Varsity Vantage

WHS junior Dhillon Patel

 WHS boys tennis team immediately looked to avenge last year’s canceled season with their dominant play. Amidst the chaos of COVID-19 protocol and recent rainy weather, the boys fought hard for a 16-4 record, most notably picking up a win in the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 tournament against the top-seeded J. P. Stevens Hawks. 

Senior captain Sebastian Wroe played a vital role this season and spearheaded this victory with his dominant first singles performance, winning in straight sets 6-3, 6-2. He credited his team’s critical win to the dedication they have maintained during the postseason. “We kept the mindset that the next match we lose will be the last time we play together and be together as a team. That really drives us to keep winning,” said Wroe. 

The journey to the semifinals was hard-fought due to special circumstances this year. The shorter, altered season started three weeks later than usual, causing the team to start practicing well into the spring. Since the beginning of the season took place in a time of the year heavily affected by rain, weather issues severely complicated the team’s access to courts. Another issue that proved to be an obstacle for many teams, and this team in particular, was COVID-19. The team ran into many issues with exposure and quarantining. Their roster changed frequently throughout the season, but once all the players gained clearance and the team returned to full strength, Westfield went on a 4-0 run.

Hall of Fame Head Coach George Kapner led his team through all of 2021’s adversity to reach the semi-finals of the Group 4 State Championship. 

While this season had more difficulties than usual, it has emphasized the importance of resilience and determination, traits that will be helpful for the future of the program. Kapner said, “I want to stress that the boys on the varsity tennis team have overcome all of those obstacles and not only had a successful season, but things bode well for next year’s team as the underclassmen have seen what they must do to prepare for next season.”