By Matthew Rocco
The Holmdel High School boys’ tennis team is building another strong season, but the Hornets are looking for more consistency as they keep their sights on the postseason.
Justin Wain, Holmdel’s star at first singles, has led the charge for a Hornets squad that has won all but three matchups. The junior has been a steady force throughout the regular season, a year after making a run to the third round of the state singles tournament. At second singles, senior Harrison Lin completes a strong one-two punch that has knocked most opponents on their heels.
The rest of the lineup is where the Hornets can improve the most. Head coach Chuck Chelednik said he wants to see the Hornets play with more confidence — something that will develop as the younger members of the team acquire more experience. Despite the team’s strong record of 14-3, there’s more work to be done as the Hornets look to defend their streak of eight Shore Conference Tournament wins in a row, not to mention two consecutive New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Group II championships.
“They have all the shots. It’s just a matter of executing. Get the first serve in, move and volley — those types of things matter. They’re little things, but little things add up,” Chelednik said.
Chelednik has seen progress through the rest of the lineup. Facing Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School last week, sophomore Brian Chu earned a point at third singles with a 6-0, 7-6 (7-5) win. Senior Jose Angel, playing his first season with the Hornets, and first-doubles partner Alex Tsai posted a 6-3, 6-1 victory. Allen Lu and Jason Yan completed the sweep by winning their third-doubles match, 6-4, 6-2. Kevin Yan has also played third-doubles for Holmdel.
With more consistency overall, Holmdel can once again emerge from the postseason as a champion, especially if Wain and Lin continue to lead the charge at the top of the lineup.
“Justin has really built on last year’s confidence. The same thing with Harrison, who’s a four-year starter. Both of them trust their games and their athletic abilities,” Chelednik said.
After completing the Monmouth County Tournament over the weekend, Holmdel was scheduled to face Ocean Township High School in a Shore Conference Tournament match May 8. The Hornets were slated to face Raritan High School May 10.
Holmdel’s next scheduled match May 12 at Matawan Regional High School.