Hornets out to repeat their success on the tennis court

first_img BY MATTHEW ROCCO Correspondent Holmdel returns all seven starters from 23-3 team I t is safe to say the Holmdel boys tennis team has emerged as one of the top teams in New Jersey.Last season the Hornets finished with an overall record of 23-3, winning the Monmouth County and Shore Conference tournaments. The team also made it to the Central Jersey Group III final in the NJSIAA state tournament.And this season, Holmdel has all seven starters from last year.“We’re definitely strong,” head coach Chuck Chelednik said. “We have a good and experienced team, and all of the guys improved and learned from last year. Our goals would be to repeat our performance last season.”The Hornets certainly have shown to be capable of replicating their success from last spring, surging to a 10-1 record to start the 2011 season. They are in first place in the Shore Conference A Central Division with a 3-0 mark.Competing in the Bryan Bennett Memorial Tennis Tournament at Delbarton School, Morristown, Holmdel defeated Delbarton for the first time in Chelednik’s 12 years as head coach. The Hornets advanced as far as the semifinals, where they lost to Morris Knolls, 3-2, on April 10.The Hornets also posted impressive victories over Shore Conference powers Christian Brothers Academy and Marlboro, both by identical scores of 5-0 last week. Chelednik noted that Holmdel has been posting wins even when the team’s top player, sophomore Derek Liu, has a record of 5-4 against the high-caliber competition the Hornets have been facing.Holmdel currently is undefeated in doubles matches. Seniors Neeve Nikoo and David Lyu are 10-0 and juniors Ganesh Natarajan and Michael Li are 7-0.“This is definitely one of the best teams I have coached since 2002 when we won the Tournament of Champions,” Chelednik said. “It’s another year with the same guys, with another year of experience. Other teams don’t have the depth and numbers we have, and that separates us from other teams.”Senior Charlie Seifer (8-3) plays second singles for Holmdel, and junior Daway Chou-Ren (6-2) plays third singles. Freshman Sam Joynson (6-0) and senior JacobYang (3-0) have undefeated personal records.On Sunday, the Hornets topped St. Augustine, 4-1, andLenape, 4-1, to advance to the Moorestown Classic championship match, which has yet to be scheduled because Saturday’s matches were rained out.The Hornets, who hosted the first annual Holmdel Tennis Classic on Wednesday, are slated to face Red Bank Regional and Raritan on Thursday.This year’s Shore Conference Tournament begins with first-round action on April 29. The Hornets will no doubt be the top seed.The Monmouth County Flights Tournament will be heldApril 29 through May 1 at Tindall Park in Middletown.last_img

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