Boys Varsity Tennis Competes at Kingswood-Oxford Tournament



Jerry Qiao ’22 returns a volley.

During the weekend of April 9 and 10, Boys Varsity Tennis traveled to West Hartford and competed in the Kingswood-Oxford Invitational Tennis Tournament (KITT). In addition to the Boys Varsity Tennis team’s successful season so far, captains Keith Matanachai ’22, Jerry Qiao ’22, and Luke Louchheim ’22, along with Jared Leong ’23 competed against the top four players of eight other schools including Groton, Deerfield, Kingswood-Oxford, Choate, Lawrenceville, Westminster, and Hall High School. The players came away with 24 points, earning them a strong second place finish behind Groton’s 28 points. They also held a large lead ahead of third-place Deerfield, who earned 14 points.

The season so far has included strong performances against Loomis Chaffee, Taft, and Choate. According to Tennis Program Director Edgar Giffenig, “This year’s team is above average … and has been taking ad- vantage of the school’s excellent facilities [indoor courts] to improve on their individual weaknesses. Senior captains Qiao, Louchheim, and Matanachai have been with the team since their Prep year and serve as strong leaders for our team.”

Kingswood-Oxford is a distinctive tournament because of its unique format organized in separate flights, which are sets of matches based on a player’s rankings on their respective teams. Coach Giffenig believes that Kingswood-Oxford “provides a lot of opportunities to play, which we [the team] haven’t had since the start of Covid. It also helps us see the skill of other teams.”

While providing the players with many opportunities to play is a big draw of the tournament, it also challenged the players. Matanachai said that “having not played very many tournaments during Covid, it was tough to face the large amount of matches concentrated into a small time…we had a disadvantage against players from day schools who were playing tournaments the whole time [throughout most of the pandemic].” The team battled these challenges by staying disciplined, prioritizing nutrition and sleep, and working hard in practice. Matanachai and Coach Giffenig agree that the goal of the season is “to win founders, and do well at the Southern New England level.”