Serving Up a Three-Peat

The Alcuin boys tennis team is making quite a racket. That happens when you become a three-peat TAPPS state championship team.
It’s a feat unmatched in school history and the team’s first TAPPS 2A title after moving up from division 1A this year.
With a record-setting 29 girls and boys joined the tennis roster this year and competed in high level matchups both in and out of division. Six advanced to the state tournament.
“The way they compete and the work they put in to keep their craft really sharp is impressive,” said Kym Malone, head tennis coach. “They’re all friends and have great chemistry, but when it’s time to play they’re locked in and ready for it.”
Senior tennis players Max Bassichis and Luis Cuenca-Martinez are adding to their trophy case; both are also members of the current state champion Hawks soccer team. For Bassichis, this is his third tennis title. Junior Felix Ruda not only picked up his second team state championship, but reached the singles final in the state tournament.
“I came into high school when we had never won a state title, and now here we are,” said Bassichis, who was also a member of the school’s basketball team. “The first time we went for state, we didn’t know what to expect and found it very competitive. This year, knew what we needed to do.”
Malone said the season is especially tough for multi-sport players on the tennis team. Two weeks after basketball season ends, the tennis season begins and players have barely enough time to pick up a racquet for practice.
“It’s hard for them to get into a rhythm in time for the district tournament, but we make it work every year,” Malone said.
This is the third state tennis title for junior Akshay Karthik and he is optimistic the team can win a fourth next year. But more importantly, Karthik said, he hopes the success of the program will generate even more student interest in tennis.
“We lost a lot of seniors last year, but we really came together and performed at the highest level when it mattered most,” Karthik said. “It definitely feels good and I hope it provides inspiration for students coming after us.”