WESTFIELD, NJ — Senior Noah Reich helped lead Westfield High School’s tennis team to a third consecutive sectional title against JP Stevens, winning his singles match with 6-2 and 6-0 victories on Monday. Reich finished the year 4-0 in Singles 1 play and 20-3 in Singles 2 play after the team’s season ended at the hand of the first ranked team in the state, Montgomery, on Wednesday.

For Reich, this week’s Ron Bansky and Associates Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week, tennis has almost always been a part of life.

“My whole family plays tennis — my mom played at Cornell, my sister and brother competed for Williams — and they all represented Westfield High School,” he said. “When I was 4 years old, I picked up a racquet to play with them. I began playing competitively when I was 7 years old, and I always knew I wanted to compete for Westfield High School and contribute to a college team.”

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Reich, like his siblings, will play tennis for Williams College next year. He appreciates the team aspect of the sport, though he mostly plays singles.

“I like the need to perform as an individual to win a match, but I also value the team aspect where we are all accountable to one another and driven to pursue a common objective,” he said.

“In high school, the team goal is to win at least three out of five matches,” he added. “I like that the team can overcome a player’s loss and deliver an overall victory, but my mindset is the same in terms of my individual match. The team still needs to secure at least three points and that means every player feels a responsibility to deliver a win. The main difference during matches is that I’m aware of my teammates’ scores and look to motivate them between points.”

Professional tennis players have been role models for Reich.

“My favorite pro tennis player is Sascha Zverev,” Reich said. “He's young and talented, and I admire his grit and creativity. I also respect Rafael Nadal for his work ethic, sportsmanship and results over a long career.”

Reich is proud of his team’s accomplishments after winning the Group 4 State Championship last season and is hopeful the program’s success will continue in the future.

“With three returning starters and a strong contingent of new contributors, we worked relentlessly to improve so that we could once again compete for a state title,” Reich said. “We grew tremendously as a team and I believe that momentum will carry over into next season.”

Eric Storms is a student at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Westfield.