Boys Tennis: Zheng following family footsteps with Hubs

Junior Jason Zheng, brother of former Hub netter Kevin Zheng, will return as one of Rochelle’s most experienced tennis players this coming season. (Photo by Russell Hodges)

Junior netter in line for leading varsity singles role

Kevin Zheng patrolled the singles courts at Rochelle Township High School for many years, becoming a varsity starter as an underclassman and bringing home several victories for the Hubs. It was no surprise that his younger brother Jason Zheng picked up where Kevin left off, earning Rochelle’s No. 2 varsity singles spot as a freshman during the 2019 season.

Jason first took up tennis in sixth grade while playing with his family. Zheng was challenged often during his freshman season, but that experience will only help the Hub netter, who has been preparing for his junior season after the 2020 campaign was canceled due to COVID-19.

“The most enjoyable part about taking up tennis was spending time with those I was close with and interacting with others who played the sport,” Zheng said. “I thought I did OK during my freshman season. There were definitely things I could improve on. It was definitely sad to not have a sophomore season because I wasn’t able to practice or compete with my teammates.”

Jason and Kevin competed together during the summer after Jason’s freshman season, winning the Adult Men’s Doubles Championship at the 2019 Rochelle Tennis Tournament. With both starting singles spots up for grabs this coming season, Zheng will have an opportunity to claim the No. 1 singles role for the Hubs in 2021. Zheng said he’s continued to stay active throughout the year despite mitigations, playing tennis on his own and with family members.

“I’ve been communicating with my teammates from time to time so I can be more involved with the team,” Zheng said. “I’m expecting to retain the skills I’ve learned previously as I prepare for my junior season. Hopefully our teamwork will be stronger than ever this coming season.”

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