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

Scots lose to Bears in close rematch

Inaaya Omer
Daniel Arakaki takes a forehand swing in his match.

Hoping to get revenge on their longtime rivals, Carlmont’s boys’ varsity tennis team fell short by one match with a final score of 4-3 against Menlo-Atherton (MA).

Coming off of a close loss from MA just a few matches prior, the Scots prepared to fight harder and come in with a strong attitude and a new sense of hope.

“We’re gonna stick it to them today. We’re gonna take MA, we’re gonna seize the opportunity. They’re not gonna roll over and give it to us,” assistant coach Nicholas Lamb said. 

Just minutes before the match began, Coach Marcus Beltramo and Coach Lamb brought the players together for a pregame huddle. Beltramo shared the story of when he beat his own high school rivals, inspiring the players to dig deep and find every last bit of motivation they could. 

“It’d be quite a landmark if we can beat them because we already lost to MA once. They’ve been our rival for years,” junior Keegan Lemke said. “It’d be really exciting for the whole team.”

As one of the players to have beaten MA in the previous match, Lemke was very confident in his and his partner’s abilities. His only hope was that the team together would be able to pull off the win. 

The first match to finish was the Doubles 1 match, with Carlmont’s Aran O’Sullivan and Conrad Hsu leaving the court victorious with a final score of 6-1, 6-3. 

“Before the match, we kind of went in knowing what to do. We had played against this exact team before, so we definitely knew that we had to work on some things,” O’Sullivan said. “I think we implemented those strategies really well, and that showed today in the match.”

Relieved from their win, O’Sullivan and Hsu watched the remaining matches with the rest of the team. On the next court, partners Ethan Htun and Andrew Cruz for Doubles 2 lost, putting the overall score at 1-1.

“This is definitely a wake-up call. We have a lot to learn from this,” Htun said. “Matches like these are really important for knowing what to do better next time.”

The Scots’ second win was their Doubles 3 players, Jay Motamarry and Jake Levin, who beat their opponents 6-3, 6-4. Overall staying up throughout their match, their victory was not a surprise. With only one “bump in the road” at a score of 5-4, Motamarry served a final game and closed it out with the help of Levin. After the win, Motamarry reflected on his and his partner’s strengths individually and as a team.

“Whenever I notice a weaker shot from him I can cover it, and it’s the same for him, he can cover my weaker shots. We’re a pretty good team,” Motamarry said. 

On the last two courts, Singles 3 player Vikram Kacholiya and Singles 4 player Marcus Zhang weren’t as fortunate as their doubles teammates. Zhang lost with a score of 6-4, 6-2, and Kacholiya lost with a final score of 6-1, 6-3. 

“I made too many unforced errors. I started getting in my head a little bit,” Kacholiya said. 

Despite the score, at the beginning of the second set, Kacholiya managed to start out strong by focusing on resetting his mentality. 

“Whenever you start a new set or even a new point, it’s always like a fresh start, so I was just trying to take that fresh start mentality,” Kacholiya said. 

Next to him, on court five, senior Iman Shafaie, the Scots’ Singles 2 player, lost his first set 6-3, and though he lost his second set as well, he came back fighting to end with a score of 7-5. 

“I started off pretty well, I was making my first serve in, which when I’m making my first serve I’m usually playing well, but he’s just an amazing player. I was playing at the top of my ability and he was still able to handle it,” Shafaie said. “Of course, I would like to have fewer unforced errors, but I’m not at that level yet where I’m that consistent and that’s part of my game that I need to work on. He just outmatched me today, and it’s just something I have to look back on and think about what I need to improve on.”

Having already played the same opponent in the previous match against Menlo-Atherton, Shafaie went into the match with a clear head and a new strategy. He later reflected saying that he tried his best, but between the windy conditions and his opponent, Danilya Alvi, Shafaie couldn’t pull out the win.

“I’ve already played him, and he beat me pretty badly last time, so I knew I had to just go in and believe I could get that win even though it was tough to do, so I came in just playing loose, no pressure, and I think it helped a little bit in improving the score this time around,” Shafaie said. 

Finally, it was down to the last match. Though Menlo-Atherton had already pulled the win, winning the majority of the official 7 matches, the teams and supporters from both Carlmont and MA all had their eyes on court 4. In a neck and neck match, Carlmont’s Singles 1 player Daniel Arakaki and Menlo-Atherton’s Singles 1 player Luke Jensen battled it out. Each determined to take the victory from the other. 

Coming off of a bad loss in the previous MA match, Arakaki was determined to take this victory, not only for the team but for himself as well. Upon finishing the match, Arakaki was relieved to have finally pulled the win.

“Senior year and I got to beat MA; we didn’t as a team win, but personally I feel like I can trust myself more,” Arakaki said. 

Luke Jensen serves to Daniel Arakaki. (Inaaya Omer)

In this long and close match, Arakaki and Jensen pushed each other to their limits. Starting out strong and maintaining consistent and high percentage shots, Arakaki was able to win the first set 6-3. In set 2, Jensen pulled out a win with a score of 6-4 as Arakaki made a few too many unforced errors. Finally, in the last set, it was anyone’s game. At one point in that final set, it seemed as though it was all over for the Scots as Arakaki was down 4-0. When he was just about ready to give up, Coach Lamb gave some valuable advice that was critical in helping Arakaki achieve victory.

“I remember hearing from my coach just to have fun and so I loosened up after he said that. I just went for my normal shots, I didn’t overthink anything, and so I felt like I was playing a lot better,” Arakaki said. 

With this important win, though the team as a whole lost, each player took away a valuable lesson from this experience. 

“It’s nice to go undefeated, at least for me to go undefeated against MA. I know we lost this match and lost our last match against MA as a team, but we still have a lot of good players and we got a lot of good matches. So it’s at least nice to be able to compete with a team of that caliber,” Lemke reflected. 

We can definitely beat MA. They need to be on the lookout because we’re gonna come back bigger and better next year!

— Vikram Kacholiya

Looking forward, Lemke had a positive outlook on the future of the team for the rest of the season.

“I think we’ll do well in CCS. I mean we have a really good top 10, we got good seniors, so I’m excited to see how those matches go,” Lemke said. 

Concluding the matches Kacholiya also reflected upon what was in store for the Scots. 

“We can definitely beat MA,” Kacholiya said. “They need to be on the lookout because we’re gonna come back bigger and better next year!”

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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  

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Scots lose to Bears in close rematch