Court Battle

Varsity Tennis Athletes Compete At UIL Region


Senior and varsity tennis athlete Ganesh Sadasivan prepares to hit an incoming tennis ball. Sadasivan placed second and advanced to Region UIL in the boys double category at District with senior and varsity tennis athlete Jay Kannam. “Our prior tournament, which was [at the Kemah Boardwalk in Houston], was a pretty tough one and we managed to win that,” Sadasivan said. “So we definitely had a lot of confidence going into District.”

Jaden Kolenbrander, Reporter

The two seniors walk onto the dark green tennis court. Having just beat another team in the competition, they lock into their stances and prepare for yet another challenge. The outcome will determine if they move on in competition. 

Advancing to UIL Region Tennis after qualifying in second place at District, seniors and varsity tennis athletes Jay Kannam and Ganesh Sadasivan reached the quarterfinals in the boys doubles category before losing to competitors from Alamo Heights High School. According to Kannam and Sadasivan, they were optimistic about their chances of winning until the end of the game. In their first game, they beat a team 6 – 0.

“It was a combination of nerves and pressure [that made us lose the game],” Kannam said. “All first sets start out that way, and you don’t know what to expect.”

 At District, seniors Braden Bailey and Ronin Vo placed fourth as boys doubles, and sophomore Khoa Tran and junior Katie Tran placed fourth as mixed doubles. According to Sadasivan, the seniors were optimistic going into District. 

“Our prior tournament [at the Kemah Boardwalk in Houston] was a pretty tough one and we managed to win that,” Sadasivan said. “So we definitely had a lot of confidence going into District.” 

Conditions on the first day of District proved difficult, with windy weather making it challenging for competitors to accurately maneuver the ball. However, Kannam and Sadasivan regard the second day as when they began to hone in. 

“The first day felt like a warm-up to us, and it was really the second day we had to prepare for,” Kannam said. “We knew we were going to advance because we put in the hard work beforehand, and we actually practiced outside of school through hitting sessions [and practice matches].” 

Between District and Region, finding time for themselves to practice became a challenge, with Sadasivan’s participation in extracurriculars such as robotics and Kannam’s activities in the school’s various honor societies acting as a roadblock. 

“We still practiced, but not as much as we could’ve,” Kannam said. “We lost to a team that we felt like we could’ve beat if we had locked in. There was regret for sure, as we could’ve had an easy draw.”

For Bailey, who won the same place as he did last year, spending nearly every day after school preparing for District worked out for him in the end. 

 “I thought we played pretty well, even though we ended up getting fourth,” Bailey said. “Obviously, we could’ve played better, but I’m not ashamed of how we ended up. I was pretty nervous, but I got through it because I knew I had to play and I had to play well. There were a lot of good teams [at District], so there wasn’t much to be upset about.”

This is both Kannam’s and Sadasivan’s first time playing individually. In the past, they have competed as a team with the rest of varsity tennis, including in 2020 when they helped the team become the District champions. Both of the seniors also have a longer history with the sport, starting at early ages and citing it as a good physical activity to commit oneself to. 

“I used to swim, and I also play soccer, but it’s just something I do for fun,” Sadasivan said. “ I started [tennis] in sixth grade, and it was something [that I could dedicate myself to]. I was definitely bittersweet about [the competition] because you’re not playing with your friends in the tournament, and you’re going to part in different ways. However, I think making Region is a good accomplishment this year.”