Although Hickman won 6-3, Thursday’s match against Hannibal was still up for grabs after singles.
Senior Omeed Latifi and junior Cody Hogan, Hickman’s usual No. 1 and No. 4 players, sat out for singles to give some of the top junior varsity players experience. Latifi sat out as he has in the past, but Hogan offered his spot for another person to move up.
“He’s a very giving kid,” coach Jerry Price said. “It’s his nature to be so giving and to think of the team before himself.”
Some of the players may have taken the match lightly before the games actually started, but Price said that if players do have that mentality, it changes when they are out competing on the courts.
“I don’t think that when you’re out on the court, you ever feel very complacent,” Price said. “If it does happen out there, it doesn’t last long. It may happen the day before or day of, but I think you’re focusing on winning.”
The match ended the home season for the Kewpies. The team’s record is 12-3.
Price said the position changes, which moved the players up a spot from what they’re used to, gave the team more difficult matches than usual.
One of the players who moved up from J.V. was sophomore Sang Chung. He usually plays No. 2 J.V. but said he likes the chance to get points for the team that count toward the final score.
“There’s a lot more pressure knowing that your match is going to count for the team,” Chung said. “I haven’t played
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(varsity) much, so I’m not used to it yet, but it’s going to help me in the long run. It’s a lot more challenging, which is the main reason I really enjoy playing.”
Since the match was close going into doubles, Latifi returned to play No. 1 doubles with his brother, freshman Eemaun Latifi. Hogan joined junior Dan Fine to play in the No. 2 doubles spot.
The team efficiently won all three doubles matches in straight sets.
“The team played well tonight and didn’t overreact to their frustrations,” Price said. “The played like seasoned veterans out there tonight.”