Varsity Tennis Wins 2024 ISL and New England Championships

On May 17, Roxbury Latin Varsity Tennis won its final regular season match against St. Mark’s School, completing an undefeated ISL season (15-0) for the second year in a row and winning its ninth ISL title since 2011. Eric Zhu ’24, Eric Diop ’24 (Captain), Jiho Lee ’24 (Captain), Lucas Vander Elst ’24, Cole Oberg ’25, Daniel Stepanyan ’25, Tom Pogorelec ’26, Avish Kumar ’26, Tanner Oberg ’27, and Sid Chalamalasetty ’27 had memorable performances. As a team, the boys had a phenomenal 86-4 record in singles in the ISL. “I loved coaching this team because the players had a wonderful chemistry, and they really bought into the concept of team,” says veteran head coach Ousmane Diop. “They not only worked hard for each other, and sacrificed for each other, but they were also resilient, tough, competitive, and fun. Justin Yamaguchi ’24, our longtime team manager, who is often referred to as my assistant coach, was the glue that held it together, and he will be sorely missed.”

Based on the team’s success in the ISL regular season, they were invited to play in the 2024 New England Class B Tournament, along with the best seven other schools in New England in their division. RL has won the New England Championship three times before (2013, 2019, 2022). RL received the #1 seed and was supposed to host the first two rounds of the top half of the draw on May 18. Unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate, and Milton Academy generously offered to host RL and Belmont Hill in the first round of the tournament. RL won 4-0; one point for the doubles, and wins from Eric Diop, Tanner Oberg, and Daniel Stepanyan gave the team the necessary 4 points to advance. They then played Milton Academy and won 4-0, securing the doubles point and earning wins from Cole Oberg, Eric Diop, and Daniel Stepanyan. The team was excited to play Greens Farms Academy (who beat Westminster and Nobles on the other side of the draw) the next day in the finals at RL, but once again the weather was uncooperative. Thankfully, Laury Hammel (well-known in the world of tennis in New England), allowed RL to use one of his facilities for the finals, and the school is so grateful to him.

The finals started well for RL, as they won the doubles point. In the singles matches, Daniel Stepanyan at #5 singles was the first one to finish his match and gave the team a 2-0 lead. Then Eric Diop at #2 singles won his match, which brought the team up 3-0, needing just one more match to win the championship. Cole Oberg at #1 singles, Jiho Lee at #3 singles, and Sid Chalamalasetty at #6 singles lost close matches, so RL and GFA each had 3 points with one more match to decide it all. Finally, Tanner Oberg at #4 singles won his match in a second set tiebreaker to clinch Roxbury Latin’s fourth New England crown ever.

“It was truly a team effort, and I could not be prouder of every player,” said Coach Diop. “As always, I want to thank Mr. Brennan and Mr. Teixeira for their continuous support. I am also grateful to RL parents, faculty, students past and present, who came to support us during our matches and the New England tournament. As we celebrate our successful 2024 season, all the players and I can’t wait to start it all over again next spring.”