For the second consecutive year, the Lebanon Trail tennis team punched its ticket to the regional finals.
This week, the No. 2 state-ranked Trail Blazers took down Lovejoy, 10-1, that set up a regional semifinal victory over Ennis on Thursday, booking a date with defending state champion Highland Park in today’s regional final.
“This is huge for our program because I really feel like we have taken a big step forward, not only in the growth of our player but in the confidence of knowing that we’re one of the best teams in the area,” said Steve Maupin, Lebanon Trail head coach. “Coming up against Highland Park, you know you’re going against one of the best teams in the state. I’m super proud of my kids and the fact that we are at this point where we are on the same level as them, and I think we can have a great match with them.”
To reach the regional tournament, Lebanon Trail demolished Wylie East and Newman Smith by a score of 19-0, which set up a rematch from last year’s first-round matchup against Lovejoy, which ended 10-9 in favor of the Trail Blazers.
This time around things weren’t as close, as Lebanon Trail made quick work of the Leopards in just 11 matches.
In fact, the boys doubles and boys singles crews swept the board for the Trail Blazers, which once again included another impressive and dominant showing from Nathan Tserng. The sophomore sensation took down Lovejoy’s top player, freshman Drew Hayward, in two sets (6-1, 6-1) and also cruised to a doubles victory alongside senior Andrew Bovermann over Lovejoy’s Ty Johnson and Will Guo.
“Nathan is a huge piece of our program,” Maupin said. “He brings a level of constancy for our boys side that allows everyone else to relax and play their best. He is one of the toughest competitors that I have ever coached, and it makes it very tough for our competitors to gain an advantage on us knowing that every single point is going to be a fight.”
Navia Chunduru and Tanisha Grewal also spearheaded a strong showing on the girls’ side against the Leopards by hanging on for a three-set victory (6-7, 6-4, 10-8) after dropping the first set and forced a decisive third.
But coming away with massive wins this season has been nothing new for the Lady Blazers.
“Our girls doubles has really stepped up,” Maupin said. “Our No. 1 girls doubles have had some wins that have just been huge to help us with the momentum of the match.”