Boys Varsity Tennis: A Losing Record, but a Winning Season


Courtesy of Herb Kerns

This year’s tennis season was short and limited, yet very memorable for coaches and players. Coach Daniel Bowens and newly appointed Assistant Coach Herb Kerns led the team through the year. Players practiced five times a week at the Fairmount Park Tennis Court over the course of a two-month period, improving their skills every day. The team managed to play in ten matches and partake in the Friends Schools League invitational tournament, finishing the season with a 2-8 record.

COVID-19 certainly played a prominent role in the season, as the team had to follow all of the necessary precautions: masks, contact tracers, windows down on the bus, etc. The team was still able to enjoy a full season, and as Stan Wang ‘23 states, “aside from it being a bit harder to breathe, it was still as fun as it had always been.”

Both coaches felt as though the team improved over the course of the season. Bowens believes the players improved “by leaps and bounds,” and Kerns noted, “everyone got better every day.” Both coaches were able to work with the more advanced players, and also teach the fundamentals to inexperienced players. Every practice was filled with gameplay and improving specific skills for certain players in order to perform better in their next match. 

Although the team only won two matches, their sense of humor pushed them through each loss. “The team was able to make fun of itself because there was a lot to make fun of,” captain Peter Ryan ‘21 explains. Something the coaches and players highlighted was the team’s ability to laugh during every practice and every match. 

Bowens’ favorite aspect of the group was “the camaraderie and fun-loving nature of the team, often exemplified in the group chats.” The team group chat, although sometimes distracting, added to the bonding as a group. Stan Wang ‘23 states, “I liked how the team was funny and very active on the group chat, it made everything livelier and was very entertaining.”

The players also created an Instagram account focused on posting the team’s highlights and game results. Peter originally came up with the idea, and the entire group was able to log on and create content about the team. “It let the rest of the community see what we were up to. It also added a sense of comradery, we were excited to post stuff on Instagram too,” Peter explains.

Coach Bowens was very happy to coach the team during this unique year and was glad to see a ton of improvement. He has a final note for all of the players: “If the player that you were at the end of the season played a set against the player that you were on the first day of the season, the end of season player would win the set 6-0.”