first_img BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer With a group of young veterans returning, the Holmdel High School boys tennis team is looking to improve on last spring’s 14-4 record. The Hornets feature a trio of sophomores in the singles slots and a very deep and talented group of players, coach Chuck Chelednick said. The Hornets got off to an inauspicious start, however, dropping its season-opener last Monday to fifth-ranked Christian Brothers Academy (CBA), 3-2, in what was a hard-fought battle that came down to the final match at second doubles. They then dropped a 3-2 match to Rumson-Fair Haven on Thursday, before blanking Raritan, 5-0, on Friday. Jonathan Tai holds down the first singles slot for Holmdel. A year ago, Tai went 12-5 alternating between the first and second spots, and boasts a consistent all-around game and a tricky spin serve that keeps opponents off-balance. Jeff Yang, a solid baseline player with good forehand strokes, is No. 2. He was 13-3 last season. Jeff Yen is an exceptionally quick baseline player who wears down opponents. Yen was 14-1 as a freshman. Senior Julius Li and junior Ken Hettler, who combined to go 14-2 last season, are at first doubles. Greg Teng, a sophomore, and Josh Mooney, a junior, will start the season at second doubles. Sophomore Alex Wu and Jon D’Agostino, who were 10-1 together a year ago, will also see doubles action. “We’re very deep and I’m going to mix and match players throughout the year,” Chelednick said. “Everyone will get their shot.” Other members of the team include juniors Ken Chiou and Kushal Patel; sophomores Justin Chu and Allen Liu; and freshmen Eric Chung and Vincent Lyu. “We’re playing in a very tough conference [Shore A North)], so we’re going to need our doubles teams to come through,” Chelednick said. “I think a lot of our matches will be 3-2s, so we’re going to need strong seasons from just a bout everyone.” As the 10th-ranked team in the Shore, Holmdel faces some high expectations once again — nothing new for one of the Shore’s elite programs. BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer last_img read more