Wednesday, May 25, 2022
The Roxbury Latin Varsity Tennis team has capped off another amazing season with a New England Class B Tournament Title. The team’s 4-1 victory over Belmont Hill on Tuesday, May 24, sealed the championship for RL, its third NEPSAC Title—winning also in 2019 and 2013.
At the end of every regular season, the top eight tennis teams in Massachusetts and Connecticut compete in a tournament in their respective divisions. Roxbury Latin earned the two seed in the Class B Tournament and hosted the first two rounds on Saturday, May 21. In the quarterfinal, Roxbury Latin faced Pomfret Academy. RL started strong, winning two of three doubles matches to win its first point.
Six singles matches followed, and RL needed to win at least three to advance. Cole Oberg (IV) at number-two singles, Akshay Kumar (II) at number-three singles, and Jiho Lee (III) at number-five singles, were the first to finish, and RL qualified for the afternoon semifinal against Green Farms Academy. RL once again started fast, winning the first point in doubles.
RL and Green Farms were tied 3-3 after Eric Diop (III) and Tait Oberg (II) won their singles matches. Only Akshay Kumar in number-three singles remained. Akshay won a fiercely contested match to send the team to the finals against top-seeded Belmont Hill, hosted yesterday at St. Sebastian’s School in Needham.
The Varsity Tennis team had lost a close match to Belmont Hill during the regular season, and knew that winning early doubles points was crucial. After splitting the first pair of doubles matches, Eric Diop and captain John Fazli (I) got the first point for RL after in a close match that went to a tiebreaker. In singles, Cole Oberg, Eric Diop, and Jiho Lee were the first to finish their matches, pushing Roxbury Latin to the four points needed to be crowned New England Champions.
Coach Diop and the entire Varsity Tennis team thanks RL Nation—students, faculty, alumni, and parents—for standing with the team throughout the tournament. Their support was critical to RL’s victory. Many former tennis players who were part of the 2019 New England Championship team were also present for the final: Brendan Jimenez ’19, who plays for Skidmore, Joey Barrett ’20, who plays for Colby, and Walker Oberg ’21, who plays for Yale, were in attendance. We are extremely proud and grateful for the continuity of our tennis program. Our two seniors, co-captain John Fazli and Frankie Gutierrez, have been instrumental in the team’s success over the years and will be greatly missed. We know we will see them next year, cheering on us at the 2023 tournament.