The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Boys varsity tennis returns with a smash

Inaaya Omer
Daniel Arakaki serves the ball during his first set.

After two years, Carlmont’s boys’ varsity tennis team returned to finish what they started. Coming off of a victory from their first match of the season, in their second match, they crushed the Hillsdale Knights averaging scores of 6-1 within both of the first two sets.
“Every match, we try to go in with the same mindset: play hard and don’t underestimate our opponents,” said junior Aran O’Sullivan.
O’Sullivan played in the Doubles 1 seed with his partner Conrad Hsu. They intend to have a strong season in their second year as doubles partners. As a sophomore and the only underclassman in the top ten on varsity, Hsu expressed his determination to play hard this season and eventually move up the ladder in his junior and senior years.
“He’s a great partner and a super nice guy. We have good chemistry, good strategies, and last year we were pretty successful. We won most of our matches, so we were going into this season pretty confident,” Hsu said. “We had a good season last year, so we were just trying to continue that momentum into this year.”
Most of the matches finished within two sets, but one went into the third set. Playing at singles 2, senior Iman Shafaie had a close game but emerged victories with a final score of 6-1, 4-6, 10-6.
“After the first set, I think I got a little tight. I wanted to close it out, but I didn’t start the second set well,” Shafaie said. “I realized after I lost that second set the only way I’m going to win is if I just play loose, play my game, and don’t let outside stuff affect me. It was a good win, and we’ll move on to the next one.”
Despite that nail-biter of a match, the Scots dominated and finished their games within an hour. Even though many of the opposing team’s top players were injured, O’Sullivan and senior Daniel Arakaki believed that the match’s outcome would have remained the same.
“We’re not entirely sure which players were injured exactly, but going off of our prior match experience, I think, either way, we would’ve handled business,” O’Sullivan said.
“I think the score would’ve changed because they have a pretty solid, consistent team,” Arakaki said. “I think something small, not that big of a deal.”
As the number 1 singles player on the team, Arakaki started playing tennis at the age of 5 and spent years training and practicing to get the top spot. He played competitively throughout middle school and participated in many U.S. Tennis Association (USTA) tournaments. Arakaki currently attends clinics and practices with private coaches. His experience has helped him get to where he is on the team and helped him assess the best ways to succeed in games.
“I was really nervous the first match, but I’m starting to get my confidence again. Just play my own game and keep my mental state up. Don’t get into my head too often, and just be confident,” Arakaki said. “First thing in tennis, you just have to get the ball in, so I played with a lot more topspin, high percentage shots, and didn’t go for any risky shots. I knew the guy would miss, so I just had to play a lot smarter than I was.”
Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the previous two seasons in 2020 and 2021 were cut short, disappointing him and his teammates. However, this setback only made the team more determined to succeed this season.
“We just wanna play the best we can,” Arakaki said. “We’re doing a lot more rigorous conditioning and a lot more practices, so I would say we’re a lot more committed this year.”
“This season is definitely more special than the other two,” said doubles 2, junior Ethan Htun. “[We’re] very motivated to make this one count.

This season is definitely more special than the other two. [We’re] very motivated to make this one count.

— Ethan Htun

Ending on a high point in the middle of the season in 2020 was a disappointment to the boys. Beating their rivals, the Menlo Atherton Bears, was an important win, and stopping there, broke their momentum. However, they continued to train, and with the guidance of their coaches, Marcus Beltramo and Nicholas Lamb, they are ready to take on any new challenges coming their way.

“I think now, given everything that we’ve seen, hopefully, we’ll have a full season. I think these guys are looking forward to being able to play that out,” Beltramo said.

Looking to the rest of the season, all the boys are determined to have an overall strong season. However, one match in particular that they train especially hard for is the match against MA.

“That MA match is going to be big for us. We’ve always wanted to get revenge and get that win,” Shafaie said.

The players also plan to grow their connection as a team and create a stronger sense of chemistry than they already have.

“This is a very dedicated group of boys,” said Lamb. “They’re very coach-able, they’re a really good group of kids, and we’re gonna have a great season.”

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
About the Contributor
Inaaya Omer
Inaaya Omer, Highlander Managing Editor
Inaaya Omer is a senior at Carlmont High School and has worked on ScotScoop, Scotcenter, and Highlander as a staff writer, podcast producer, and managing editor. She enjoys being part of the program because of the valuable experiences and interactions with the community. She also attended the School of New York Times to improve her editing skills. Outside of journalism, she plays for Carlmont’s Varsity Basketball Team and is involved in events and activities to show her school spirit. Twitter: @inaayaomer  

Comments (0)

We invite comments and responses to our content. Comments that are deemed appropriate and relevant will be published.
All Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Boys varsity tennis returns with a smash