WESTFIELD, NJ — Down a set and down 0-2 in the second, the Westfield boys’ varsity tennis first doubles team of Ben Cymbala and Jack Siegel won 12 consecutive games to clinch the North 2 Group 4 Sectional Championship for Westfield recently.
“It was a great feeling winning 12 straight games and bouncing back a set down because we showed we will do whatever it takes to get the win for the team,” Siegel said. “Ben and I lost to Summit in the county final by dropping the second and third set after winning the first, so it showed we learned our lesson from that loss.”
“Winning the section also meant a lot since we haven't won the section since I was a freshman and we had to beat a tough JP Stevens team to do so,” he added.
“They have been our first doubles team for two years and they are the undisputed leaders of the 2015 WHS Boys Tennis Team,” head coach George Kapner said.
The pair co-captain the team, which is especially difficult in a sport like tennis, according to Siegel.
“Being a captain of the tennis team takes a lot of responsibility because it's not easy to lead a team when everyone is playing individually,” Siegel said. “Ben and I have to motivate everyone to play to the best of their ability.”
However, the two have the privilege of backing each other up on the court when they play doubles.
“I enjoy playing doubles more because I have a partner to support me and pick me up mentally, as well as me doing the same for my partner,” Siegel stated. “It's a lot of fun sharing wins with someone else.”
The win was especially triumphant for Cymbala, who was nursing an injury prior to the game. Cymbala had been hit in the eye with an errant shot and had been out of the line-up for a week, only returning the day before on doctor's orders, according to Kapner.
“He went from being concerned that his vision was impaired to concern that his season was over to returning to the line-up a week later. He not only returned to the line-up, but also hit the shot that won the championship for his team,” Kapner said.
Eric Storms is a sophomore at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAP into Westfield.