WESTFIELD, NJ — The duo powered through the season, winning 15 of its tennis matches and helping to earn the Blue Devils a state title.
The second doubles team of senior Irving Zhao and freshman Jordan Cafiero is this week’s Ron Bansky and Associates Allstate Westfield Athlete of the week. Zhao, who heads to Boston University for an accelerated seven-year medical program, has enjoyed the experience.
“I always have fun when I play with Jordan,” said Zhao, 18. “Even though he’s a freshman and I’m a senior, we get along perfectly and have each other’s backs. When one of us feels down, we cheer each other up. I feel like we push each other to get better with every match.”
Cafiero, 15, said it has been a great three months and that he has learned much by playing with Zhao.
“I was not as experienced in doubles, but playing with a senior and especially Irving, who is very patient and can single-handedly win games with his serve, takes away a lot of the pressure,” Cafiero said.
Cafiero and Zhao took down the Ridge pair of Rishi Kundargi and Pratyush Iyer, 3-6, 6-0, 6-4, on May 20 at a state championship during which the Blue Devil tennis team secured its fifth straight sectional title.
Zhao said he hopes to play Ultimate Frisbee as a club sport and practice tennis while in college. Zhao said he admires Cafiero’s tennis skill and noted his teammate’s early success.
“He is just a freshman, and he has already made a starting position on varsity,” Zhao said. “His technique is already very polished, and I think if he continues to practice like he does, he will go very far in his tennis career.”
The Allstate Westfield Athlete of the Week is sponsored by Ron Bansky & Associates Allstate Agency. Located 502 East Broad St., the agency has been protecting local families and business owners for over 15 years. Call them at 908-301-0711 for a new auto, home or life insurance quote this week and if you mention the Allstate WHS Athlete of the Week they will make a $25 contribution to the Westfield Boosters Association! To learn more, visit ronbansky.com.