The RunDown

The RunDown

Hawks Fall to Division Champs

River Dell prepares for big Match against Pascack Hills

River Dell Tennis geared up to play a juggernaut of a team, but unfortunately fell 1-4, despite the close games between the two teams.
Pascack Hills, one of the best team in the state, has won the division 20 out of the last 21 years. The Hawks, with their experienced and strong returning senior class, looked to change the pattern of a Hills’
division title. Last season River Dell got the closest they’d ever come to defeating their rival and with same squad coming back after a productive offseason they hoped to start a new trend. RD wouldn’t be at full strength though as 1st doubles player Leo Tarascio injured his shoulder before the match. His substitute, sophomore Alex Curukcu, would step in playing in only his second varsity match ever.
The three singles players, Kyle Li, Matthew D. Kim, and Darsh Patel, were up against an absolute cadre of juggernauts. However, they were able to win their points and sets due to their great capabilities as strong players.
1st singles Kyle Li unfortunately fell 1-6, 1-6 against his opponent, who is rumored to be around 8 UTR (Universal Tennis Ranking). Li struggled throughout the match. Despite this, Li played extremely well with his key components of placing the ball on the court as he likes, as well as the spin he can put on the ball to win his points.
2nd singles Matthew Kim sadly fell 2-6, 3-6 against his opponent in a closer match the score would imply. With his spin and control over the ball, Kim created many deuces chances in his games, creating pressure on the opponent while remaining calm and composed. With this mind, Kim believes that he may have won if, “I had played smarter and played more at the net because my opponent could not finish points through winners, and he was just waiting for me to make the mistake.”
3rd singles Darsh Patel lost 1-6, 1-6 against his opponent who was known to be a beast. Despite this, Darsh put up a great, hard fought fight with his great placed flat shots, only losing to the more experienced singles player as Patel was a doubles player up until last year.
Moving to the doubles matches, River Dell looked for success. The Hawk’s second doubles team consisted of Senior Tristan Hooper, and Sophomore Alex Curukcu. The team won the first set 6-2 due to their powerful serves and good team communication. In the second set the duo got too comfortable going down 2-5 early in the second set. After regaining their composure, they fought back to win the set in a tiebreaker bringing River Dell their first win of the day. Curukcu said the win, “Felt great,” when asked how he felt about having to play a team like Pascack Hills twice a year he viewed it as a privilege, “Better competition leads to more fun and getting better.”
The first doubles team didn’t fare as well as their counterparts did. The team was made up of Senior Bobby Canfield and Sophomore Jedrick Calimag. They started off slow, numerous double faults put them behind the 8 ball in the first set dropping it 6-3. Lack of communication and inability to convert at the net caused the duo to lose the second set as well 6-2. After the match Jedrick stated that, “We’re still confident going forward, in both our own abilities as well as our chances to win.”
Although they lost, the team still has confidence. “It is still too early in the season, however we want the challenge that Pascack Hills brings. It keeps us getting better,” stated Head Coach Loria. RiverDell will make a run and push for a league title.

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