Tennis Team Displays Grit, Determination On and Off the Court
Rockets continue to improve every day.
The Needham High School boys tennis team has displayed a great deal of focus all season, and one member who has shown the truest commitment to the sport is junior co-captain Aaron Segel.
Segel, who is a household name with the Rockets for his past success, has only lost one match this spring, against Wellesley’s Chris Cua, who beat him 6-3, 2-6 and 6-3.
“It definitely was frustrating,” Segel said. “It was tough because I didn’t win and the kid I played, Chris Cua, is a really good player. I’ve had some great matches with him in the past, and he got me that day. But next week, Wellesley comes here, and hopefully I’ll get revenge.”
On Wednesday, Segel walked off the Needham High School tennis courts with his eighth win of the season, as he beat one of the many members of the Newton North High School tennis squad by a score of 6-0, 6-1.
“[My opponent] played well. He returned a lot of my big shots, so I had to be patient, stay in the rally with him, but I was confident in my ability to wear him down,” Segel said.
As Segel’s match progressed, various spectators including his head coach, Andrew Lawrence, watched closely, as the junior co-captain showed off his determination to win his eighth match.
“I take each and every match seriously. If I’m playing someone [who’s] not as strong as I am, I focus on hitting hard, hitting good shots and not getting lazy and hitting stupid shots,” Segel said with a big smile.
Certainly, staying focused is an important part of his game, but no matter if he’s practicing or playing for real, his coach considers him a true leader on and off the court because of his work ethic.
Segel has been an important co-captain for the Rockets and has helped his teammates grow into quality tennis players.
“He’s very level-headed on and off the court,” Lawrence said. “He’s a very even keeled [individual]. He’s a pleasant guy and he’s pretty mellow and the kids respect him.
“Having a leader like him makes my job easier," the coach continued. "One of the things I really try to stress with all of my kids is the fact that you can be very sportsmanlike, but you can also be extremely competitive. He embodies that; he’s a very good sport on the court and the way he conducts himself during practices.”
Like Segel, the rest of the Rockets have played impressive tennis all season and their coach said a lot of it is due to the fact that every student is willing to work hard and improve their game but also have fun.
“These guys are pretty motivated to improve,” Lawrence said. “You are out there playing a sport in which you work hard to improve your own game, but you’ve got all your buddies there rooting for you.”
While the season is far from over and there is still a great deal of tennis left to play, Needham is focused on finishing out the regular season strong—also making sure they are prepared for the upcoming MIAA tournament.
“I have high hopes for this team and hopefully we can win [the state tournament]. I really think that’s a realistic goal,” Segel said.