Law veterans lead unbeaten start to boys tennis season

Sanskar Shah, a senior co-captain, plays No. 3 singles for the Lawmen.

Sanskar Shah, a senior co-captain, plays No. 3 singles for the Lawmen.

Law Athletics / Contributed photo

Glen Maxwell’s move from being a standout baseball player to competing in USTA events has worked out well for Law boys’ tennis coach.

Maxwell starred in baseball at Law, was a four-year starter at Southern Connecticut, then competed in adult summer leagues. He took up tennis and has played in USTA 18 and over and 40 and over leagues and tournaments.

When the position opened at his alma mater, he threw hit hat in the ring.

Maxwell said: “One of my strengths is that I didn’t play tennis until I was in my 30s. I can work with the veteran players now that I have experience. The guys that are athletes just out for tennis, we can go over basic philosophies and how to improve.”

Law is off to a 6-0 start, losing one game against Sheehan and Lyman Hall.

Maxwell said: “I know our kids believed we could have a good season. They listen, they work hard and believe in each other. Sheehan was undefeated when we played them. Against Lyman Hall we were without our No. 2 singles player who has received his second vaccination shot.”

Nine seniors, led by captains Sanskar Shah and Angel Santiago, have led the way to wins against Hamden (7-0, Career (7-0), Sheehan (6-1), Lyman Hall (6-1), West Haven (7-0) and Foran (7-0).

Junior Dan Folloni is 6-0 at No 1 singles play. Senior Adarsh Senthilnathan is 5-0 at second singles. Shah 5-1 at No. 3 singles. Senior Anish Sikhinam (3-0), freshman Jonathan Uruchida (1-0) and Santiago (1-0) play No. 4 singles.

Seniors Julien Roy and Brian Zirkel are 3-0 at first doubles. Senior Pardhip Nair and Santiago are 2-0 at second doubles. Senior Lucas Griefzu, senior Marcelo Silva and junior Zachary Moller have combined to go 2-0 at third doubles.

Building depth can be difficult with court time at a premium.

“I had 28 kids sign-up and with four courts I kept 17 to work with,” Maxwell said. “We’ve played some teams with 10 players. Career only had three guys to play singles. They let us know. We are trying to keep kids safe and socially distanced, so I brought only three kids to play.”

Reserves playing reserves when larger teams match-up is one way to get his kids experience. Maxwell came with another.

“We bring them all to the matches we can. Kids not on the court are charting matches. I’m coming from that baseball mentality,” he said. “After a match we can look at stats. Maybe we lost points on overhand volleys, of forehands weren’t working. We set practice up with evidence of things we need to work on.”

Maxwell doesn’t need to worry about another baseball axiom when it comes to tennis.

“With baseball I always said that parents want the eight best players and their son to play,” he said. “In tennis, when one player beats another at practice there is no argument over who will be starting. The players know where they stand alongside their teammates.”

Maxwell believes his team is mentally prepared for whatever lies ahead on the schedule.

“In tennis they know that during a match you must rely on yourself,” he said. “You have to maximize strengths, be smart and find an opponent’s weakness and capitalize. That is the mentality we want for our kids. If the individual does his job; we as a team can reach our goals.”

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354