BC Tennis Team Finishes Its First Season

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Karen Ebenezer, Staff Writer

Berkeley Carroll’s tennis season kicked off to a speedy start at the end of March with Coach Lawrence Yasner making a surprise announcement: BC’s home ground was to be at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, the historic site of the US Open and now the official home courts of the BC team. “It’s the best tennis facility in North America, and I’m glad we could take advantage of that,” said Coach Yasner. “I would like to thank Mr. McGrath and Mr. Giovino and the supporters of tennis at school for major upgrades to our practice and match facilities.”

 

Coach Yasner, a tennis coach at BC since 2007, is very proud of the tennis team and praises the improvements of his athletes, especially Jason Grunfeld, his most dedicated senior. “Jason is very passionate about tennis, and he’s also playing next year at Connecticut College,” explained Coach Yasner, as he proudly talked about one of his star players. “He puts a lot of time in during the off-seasons, and he also teaches tennis in the summertime as well.” Jason Grunfeld, Class of ’14, adds the title of tennis team captain to President of the Student Body at BC. “I’ve been on the team for six years, since eighth grade,” added Jason. “And I love it.” Joining Jason in his captaincy is senior Olivia Scott, who is co-captain of one of the few co-ed teams in school. When asked how it felt to be the one of the two girls on an otherwise all-boys team, Olivia replied: “It was tough the first couple of years, but I didn’t see myself as separate from the team. I just played the best I could.” Coach Yasner notes with regret that there has never been a girls’ tennis team at Berkeley Carroll, saying: “I think it would be great to have a girls’ tennis team in the future, because I know we have a lot really talented girls who are in Middle School.” The two girls, senior Olivia Scott and junior Karen Ebenezer have been playing in the all-boys league so far, and as Coach Yasner says, “have improved the most.”

The tennis team at BC has grown a lot this year. “We have many new additions to the team and we’ve seen a lot of improvement so far,” remarks Coach Yasner. “Freshmen Jacob Justh, Shay Kothari, Nate Oppenheimer, and Garrett Collins will all contribute in the starting lineup and have been welcome additions,” adds Coach Yasner as he describes the team’s starting lineup. Other important players who contribute to the tennis lineup include sophomore Peter Russo and seniors Corbin Hopper, Mike Dosik and August Rosenthal. With senior Jason Grunfeld at the Number One Singles position, an unlikely but extremely talented player named Dylan Friedman has taken the Number TWO Singles spot on the lineup; he is also a seventh grader.

 

“Seventh grader Dylan Friedman is quickly establishing himself as one of the top players in the ACIS,” explains Coach Yasner. “He uses rock-solid groundstrokes and shot-making to start the year with two blowout wins in the second singles spot.” The rest of the team is excited with the addition of Dylan, with several seniors taking him under their wing and acclimating him to the high school tennis league. “He’s wanted to play on the Varsity team ever since elementary school,” says Coach Yasner with a smile. “And this year he went through a process called Selection Classification, where he went through a fitness test and got to be on this year’s team.” Dylan is currently ranked in New York State’s Top 40 players for his age group.

With both the old and the experienced and the young and learning, BC’s tennis team came out strong in their matches. “I would say our main competitor is Staten Island Academy (SIA),” says Coach Yasner. “We’ve had several close matches with them.” The team started off its season with several nail-biting games against Packer and Columbia Prep which only just managed to slip through the fingers of the BC tennis team. The closest game that Berkeley Carroll had this year was with Staten Island Academy (SIA), with an incredibly close score of 2-3. A match with Friends Seminary followed at the USTA Tennis Center in Queens, which was equally close as well; however, our team fell to Friends with the promise that they would meet again with more practice and more focus behind them.

 

The boys’ varsity tennis team finished the spring season of 2013 in a nail-biting competition at the ACIS. During the tournament, the team defeated the defending league champion Staten Island Academy while also accomplishing a number of personal victories. “We had a better year than in the past. BC has some good young players and we will only get better over time,” said senior number one player, Jason Grunfeld.

 

Seventh grader and number two player Dylan Friedman showed his consistency and wide variety of shots to win 6-2 sets. He won over 75% of the total games he played, beating the school’s record. Before one of Dylan’s individual matches in the ACIS tournament was rained out, he was a huge contender to challenge for the league championship. “I’m used to playing older opponents. I don’t think about age during a match.” Friedman also was enthusiastic about the team’s welcoming attitude towards helping him to feel comfortable even though there is an age difference. Friedman is the 35th ranked player in the state of New York and should be seen as a rising challenge against other schools. Watch out world, it’s Dylan Friedman.

 

The freshmen on the team, Jacob Justh and Shay Kothari, started every match and were also central components in both the singles and doubles matches. As the season has ended, the seniors on the team will be missed greatly by the team. Thank you to Jason Grunfeld (five-year varsity), Corbin Hopper (five-year), Olivia Scott (four-year), Michael Dosik (four-year), and August Rosenthal. We look forward to next year’s season and seeing Peter Russo, Garrett Collins, Nate Oppenheimer, and Karen Ebenezer compete. Those of you thinking about joining the tennis team are welcome!