PLAINFIELD, NJ — As the Scotch Plains-Fanwood boys’ tennis team enters the Union County Tournament, first singles player Brandon Glickstein has caught the eyes of many throughout the county after a dominating first round performance. Glickstein’s victory Thursday in the tournament at Plainfield has pegged him as this week’s Yeti MMA Athlete of the Week.
In the first round of the Union County Tennis Tournament Thursday afternoon, Glickstein cruised past Colin McCormack of Dayton (Springfield). The junior captain defeated McCormack 6-1 in the first set and 6-2 in the second at Hubstine Field in Plainfield.
“It was good to be on the court, with a lot of my team supporting me,” Glickstein said. “I got to play next to some of the top talent in Union County. I just played my game. I didn't let any distractions get in my way.”
Glickstein has been a varsity starter all three years of his high school career, even earning team co-MVP honors last season. But he has not faced a level of competition quite as high as this year. That’s because at the beginning of the season, head coach Gary Wasserman moved Glickstein to first singles — the position traditionally reserved for the best player on a tennis team.
The junior has done more than just hold his own when facing the upper-echelon talent, including nationally-ranked tennis recruits multiple times this season.
As a result of the uptick in competition, Glickstein has not quite garnered the high amount of victories he owned last year. But the strong competition pays off at times, and one of those times is this week in the county tournament.
“I’ve played two of the top 5 players in the state. That's something I take pride in. You can only improve by playing the best,” said Glickstein. “I love the challenge of 1st singles. I worked for it and I'm happy to keep playing elite competition.”
In addition to his big victory Thursday in counties, Glickstein has captured a solid amount of convincing victories this season. On April 3, he shut out Dylan Teixeira of Union Catholic, 6-0, 6-0. On April 18, he went three sets to defeat Nate Halek of Cranford, 6-3, 6-4, 10-8, and this past Friday, he outlasted Oratory’s Ian Moore, 6-4, 6-3.
"Brandon worked incredibly hard this past offseason, training 5 days a week and came in with a purpose this year, to be the best," said tennis coach Gary Wasserman. "He went undefeated and dominated tryouts, dropping only 10 games in 4 matches to earn our #1 singles position and is now our co-captain."
"He has a remarkable 35 victories in his high school career to this point, with a shot to get to 50 before he's through, something very few players have achieved," Wasserman added. "He is establishing himself as one of the best and most accomplished players in school history."
Glickstein and the Raiders tennis team will look to continue rolling in the the Union County Tournament Friday, when the tournament continues. The team continues the regular season Monday, when they pay Columbia (South Orange/Maplewood) a visit at 4 p.m.
Each Yeti MMA Athlete of the Week honoree is invited to submit an essay entitled, "What It Means to Be a Student-Athlete." The winning submission will receive a $1,000 TAPintoSPF-Yeti MMA scholarship in June 2017.
The Yeti MMA Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Yeti MMA and its owner, David Martin. Located at 2507 Route 22 West in Scotch Plains (next to Bowcraft), the facility offers training in a variety of disciplines: boxing, kickboxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu, Muay Thai, wrestling, and strength training. Call (908) 858-5558 and mention the TAPintoSPF-Yeti MMA Athlete of the Week and get a 15% discount on a one-year membership. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.