Boys tennis team wins team state

The boys tennis team placed first in the state in team competition May 31.

The+boys+tennis+team+musters+up+the+strength+to+hold+Seth+Smigel+25+for+a+photo+with+their+championship+trophy+and+banner+after+the+conclusion+of+team+state+at+the+Prairie+Ridge+Sports+Complex+on+May+31.

Mohana Sunkara

The boys tennis team musters up the strength to hold Seth Smigel ’25 for a photo with their championship trophy and banner after the conclusion of team state at the Prairie Ridge Sports Complex on May 31.

Ella De Young, Print Assistant Sports Editor

In the world of tennis, coming together as a team to win a state championship is a unique experience. Known as a sport for individuals, playing for a team is a different experience that takes time to get used to. The West High boys tennis team knows how to make it look easy though, as they demonstrated at team state on May 31.

The final day of team state got off to a quick start at the Prairie Ridge Sports Complex in Ankeny with matches starting at approximately 9 am. No. 2 West High faced No. 3 Waukee Northwest in the semifinal match. West cruised through their singles matches with only one loss as Luca Chackalackal ’22 lost 1-6, 3-6 to Kaden Taylor ’24. Even with the one loss, West made it to the finals with a 5-1 win over the Waukee Northwest Wolves.

An hour after the semifinal win, West was back in action facing off against No. 1 Pleasant Valley. The bright sun and the random gusts of wind did not seem to get in the way of the Trojans as Jayden Shin ’23 and Shivy Mannengi ’23 won their matches both in just over an hour.

With two matches down, the boys tennis team had three more matches to go to win the team state championship. Seth Smigel ’25 and Samir Singh ’24 were the two players off the courts next both with wins over their opponents. Jonathan Fan ’23 lost in a tough battle to sophomore Folu Adekunle 4-6, 5-7, leaving the score at 4-1 with one single match left to finish — the No. 1 spot matchup of West’s Chackalackal versus Pleasant Valley’s Jake Dolphin ’22.

Although Chackalackal lost to Dolphin at the state singles/doubles tournament on May 25, Chackalackal came on to the court energized and ready to battle, winning the first set 6-1. Dolphin fought back though, winning the second set 7-5 and making the set score 1-1.

Dolphin started off strong in the third set, getting himself to a seemingly safe and comfortable score of 5-2. Chackalackal did not let the scary score get into his head though and held off match points to eventually win the rest of the games in the set and the match 6-1, 5-7, 7-5. With a 5-1 victory over Pleasant Valley, the West High boys tennis team could officially be referred to as the 2022 2A team state titleholders.