Hillers are TVL Champs; head to the State Tournament
Yesterday, Hopkinton Senior Lex Kaye completed an undefeated tennis season, going 15-0 against all opponents.
Kaye, Hopkinton’s #1 ranked player, was matched up against Westwood’s #1, Jake Minsky. Kaye and Minsky met earlier in the season, with Minsky taking one set before being defeated by Kaye in the third. But yesterday Kaye was intensely focused, defeating Minsky in straight sets, 6-1 and 6-0.
Unlike Kaye, whose serve is incredibly powerful, Minsky plays with a different style. He is known for his excellence in returning everything over the net, which makes scoring against him difficult. But yesterday Kaye had Minsky sprinting from edge to edge as the two traded volleys. Kaye was fantastic close to the net, at one point spiking a kill shot that sent the ball over the fence and into the parking lot.
It has been years since any Hiller boys tennis player went undefeated in a season. (On the girls’ side, Riley Krattenmaker was unbeaten in 2019, 2021 and 2022, stopped in 2020 only by the COVID-19 pandemic.)
“I feel really proud,” said Kaye. “I’ve been working hard my whole life for this and to see it come together in my senior year means a lot to me.”
High school tennis is a team sport, and with the win against Ashland on Monday Hopkinton clinched the TVL Large division. The team saw excellent contributions throughout the season from Adam Glace, Pranav Kapur, Roberto Rossi and several others. The Hillers finished the season 16-1 and earned a berth in the D2 state tournament, holding the 8th spot in the MIAA Power Rankings.
“Lex is a great teammate and a good person to everybody around him,” said head coach Mike Miller. “He’s so supportive of everybody on the team, from the #2 player on down to the younger guys coming up. It’s nice to see him find the success that he’s earned and he deserves. This season he has gone up against some of the best players in the state and I’m really happy to see him reaping the rewards of all the that he’s put into his craft.”
Kaye is also a standout runner for the Hillers. He will be attending St. Olaf College in Minnesota this fall, joining the cross country and track & field teams, and in what is sure to be a disappointment for the tennis coach at St. Olaf’s, Kaye plans to focus only on running.
“I definitely want to put my all into running next year,” said Kaye. “Ending the season this way, I’m happy to leave it like this.”