By: John Raffel
Midland Dow tennis puts together another successful post season
Terry Schwartzkopf has been Midland HH Dow tennis coach for 12 seasons and he’ll remember the 2018 fall season for a long time.
Dow was 4-0 in league play and won the SVL tournament and was 12-4-3 overall.
The Chargers were fifth in the state Division 2 tournament.
Anish Middha was second at No. 2 singles. Saketh Kamaraju was second at No. 3 singles.
“We have had strong teams in the past, including a second-place finish last year,” Schwartzkopf said prior to the state tourney.
“However, we graduated seven out of a team of 12. Our reserves and former JV players really stepped up this season to put us where we are. We have a legitimate chance at a top five finish at states with a team that has limited experience. I find this to be truly incredible and unforeseen. I was worrying last season about even making states, and these guys have proven me wrong. They have continued to step up and deliver when needed.
“Winning regional would be the obvious highlight so far. But we have had multiple mini successes all year. Tyler Conrad set the state record for most 6-0, 6-0 wins in a career. It’s been really fun.”
The regional effort was impressive.
“I would say this team knows it is about exactly that, team,” Schwartzkopf said. “We win, lose, or draw together. Individual stats mean nothing in October. These guys look for ways to encourage, to lend energy, to fight for each other. They are uplifting regardless of the outcome. Our singles lead the way in terms of points, but they are the first to find out where their support is most needed and to cheer on their teammates. The strength is they play for something bigger than themselves.
“Considering that my No. 1 doubles consists of half of last year’s No. 4 and one reserve, No. 2 doubles has one reserve on it and the rest of the doubles are last year’s JV boys, I would say their growth has been astronomical. As a team we are not as strong as last year, but that is an unfair comparison to make.”
Conrad is 25-3 on the year and the No. 4 seed at states.
“He leaves the team this year but will finish as the all-time state leader in 0,0 wins and will be in the record books for singles season wins, career wins, consecutive wins, and tournament wins. His career record is 129-12.”
Anish Middha was 26-1 on the year and is the 3 seed at the state tournament.
“He is only a junior, but has had an incredible career already at Dow,” Schwartzkopf said. “His career record at this point stands at 93-17.”
Saketh Kamaraju was 28-0 entering the state meet.
“Saketh has lost only one singles match in two years and last year was a finalist at 1 doubles,” Schwartzkopf said. “He is the 2 seed at states and has a career record of 99-4. Saketh is a foundation of our success and someone we can always count on.”