Tennis star player returns, not enough for a win

The Pierce tennis team lost its fourth seasonal match to Cerritos College with a final score of 1-8.

On Tuesday, March 1, Pierce College’s tennis team played against Cerritos College in 9 matches, 6 singles and 3 doubles. This was the first game this season where the team had all members to compete.

“It’s been kind of rough without our number one. He’s been out for half of the conference matches so far,” said tennis coach Long Dao. “So, today was his first match back but I mean his back was still hurting. So we still have problems.”

Tennis player Manish Kumar competed for his first match this season returning after injuring his back during a semi-final regional match last season. Kumar lost to Xi Chang in his singles match (6-1 and 6-2).

Teammate Nick Kerhulas lost to Mark Antoniuk in both sets with a score of 4-6 and 1-6. Other team members failed to win except Sean Reid who won his match against David Evans with a score of 5-2 and 11-9.

“It just means that they have to learn from all the things that has been happening. They have to learn how to grow too,” Long said. “So, today was the first day we had our whole line up. They just got to learn from it and move on.”

At 4 p.m. the double matches began. Kumar and Kerhulas faced off against Chang and Antoniuk, Reid and Kiran Dev took on Kyle Konishi.

“The doubles match I was ready to play,” Kerhulas said. “My teammate told me he was a little sluggish. That his back was hurting so I had to step it up a little bit.”

Kumar and Kerhulas served with power but it was not enough as Chang and Antoniuk finished the match 5-8. The remaining Brahmas’ double games ended in losses as well.

“This was [Manish’s] first match back from season,” Kerhulas said. “We’ve played four matches already, and this is his first match back. Yeah, it’s been a little troublesome. The team has had to adjust but you gotta do whatcha gotta do.”

Kumar is unsure if he will continue to play in the rest of the season because of his back. Head Coach Long and Kumar have worked together so that Kumar can come back onto the court but there is still doubt.

“I haven’t been playing and the last four games were losses,” Kumar said. “But it’s everyone’s contribution through all the games.”

In the team’s next away game against Orange Coast on Friday, March 4 the team will make adjustments to get out of its losing slump.

“I think just overall just have them start kind of cheering for each other more,” Dao said. “Tennis is a tough thing because they all have to focus on their own match. So, it’s really hard to kind of for a second just to go over and cheer for their teammate.”