Embracing the hot asphalt court with a hunger to win, the boys’ tennis team plays with passion.
Although its level of intensity is, at times, overlooked, tennis is nothing short of vigorous.
With heavy drilling, playing and running, intense practices undeniably prepare the team for victory.
On Saturday, April 17, the team competed in Decatur’s Doubles Tournament, or what senior captain Michael Sullivan defines as the most intense match of the season.
“Nick Fleming and I ran into two foreign exchange students from Bolivia. We lost the first set… but fought back and won the next one 6-3…[it] was intense because everybody and their brothers were watching us,” Sullivan said.
O’Fallon came in second place to Champaign Centennial.
Fleming also felt as though the tournament was a personal highlight.
“My doubles partner and I played the best we ever have and almost won an upset over one of the best teams in the state,” Fleming said.
So when Tuesday, April 20 rolled around O’Fallon was ready to bring the heat once again and toppled over Belleville East with a collective score of 6-3 in the Southwestern Conference Match.
The previously mentioned win proved to be extremely rewarding because of the shared rivalry between the competing schools.
However, it is only friendly competition.
“They are just so close to us, and we train with each other during the off-season, but when I get on the court, anybody that is not on my team is my rival,” Sullivan said.
In singles senior captain Nick Fleming competed against East’s top ranked player and won both sets 6-3, 6-1.
“I felt really good about the win. Our conference this year is loaded with great players, so building up as many wins as I can is very important,” Fleming said.
“Overall on the victory, I think our team definitely needed it. We started out with a rough start and are finally building confidence with each match we play.”
Although each match poses a new challenge for the boys, they play with a desire to win and are steadily improving throughout the season.