By Matthew Rocco
The Holmdel High School boys’ tennis team completed a three-peat in the state tournament.
The Hornets have continued their postseason dominance, winning their fifth New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Group II title in the last six years. Holmdel overtook Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest, 4-1, with a sweep of all three singles matches.
Justin Wain, Holmdel’s talented junior at first singles, earned a 6-3, 6-2 win over Demarest’s Carlos Vasquez. Senior Harrison Lin didn’t drop a game in a second-singles win, while Alex Tsai won his third-singles match, 6-3, 6-3.
“We are extremely proud of the consistently strong efforts of these young men and how they have represented Holmdel High School and have handled themselves with class and dignity throughout the season,” Holmdel Athletic Director Shane Fallon said in a statement.
With the Group II title in the books, Holmdel advanced to the Tournament of Champions (TOC) as the sixth seed. The Hornets were set to face tournament rival Millburn High School, the third seed, in the TOC quarterfinals May 30.
The semifinals against second-seeded Newark Academy, which received a first-round bye, were scheduled for the following day. The champion will be decided June 1 at Mercer County Park.
Holmdel (23-4) overcame an unexpected roster shake-up to go the distance in the group stage. An injury to Brian Chu forced several Hornets to move up in the order, but the team took the moves in stride. Tsai, Chu’s replacement at third singles, won both of his Group II matches.
Holmdel’s doubles players have also risen to the occasion. The combination of Allen Lu and Kevin Yan, who jumped from second to first doubles, mostly breezed to a 6-2, 6-1 win over Fort Lee High School in the Group II semifinals. Jose Angel and Clark Wang posted a 6-2, 6-0 victory at second doubles.