BY ANTHONY MENDOLIA
Photo courtesy of COD Athletics. Kalman Boyd and Alex Kuperstein completed a historic season for the Roadrunners.
Not too long after COD men’s tennis won the team state championship, their two best players did their part in making this perhaps the most historic season in the program’s history. Sophomore Kalman Boyd (Solano Beach Fusion Academy) and freshman Alex Kuperstein (Palm Desert HS) not only won the doubles CCCAA championship together, but they squared off against each other in the single’s state title match.
The No. 1 seed Boyd came out victorious against his opponent and teammate, who was the second seed, by a score of 6-4, 6-4. Whether either man won, the result gave the Roadrunners a historic “Triple Crown,” where the program won the team state title, the singles title and the doubles title.
Before the match, it could definitely be said that Boyd, in particular, had mixed emotions facing his teammate and doubles partner. “It’s tough to play against your friend and doubles partner,” said Boyd. “It’s tough for me to mix friendship and competition. Right when I got out here, I was thinking ‘No, we’re not friends, we’re competitors and I’m going to be mean and be a jerk.’ If you don’t have the killer instinct, you’re going to lose.”
There was already an incentive for Boyd going into the match, as Kuperstein actually got the better of him in their previous bout on April 13, the PCAC singles title in which Kuperstein won 6-2, 2-6, 10-6. It seemed that the measure of revenge was just enough for the sophomore to get back at his freshman teammate.
Boyd started the match with a 4-1 lead in the first set, and although Kuperstein rallied to within a game at 5-4, the sophomore was able to hold him off. In the second set, Kuperstein got to a 3-1 lead, but Boyd was the one who rallied this time and ultimately won the match and the title.
“It was a lot of fun playing against Kalman and we had a lot of energy,” Kuperstein said. “Unfortunately today he got the best of me but hopefully this won’t be the last time we play. He started off on fire. If I had a better start, I may have been able to take the first set. In the second set, I was up a break and I had momentum going but I just couldn’t pull it together.”
Kuperstein will be coming back to COD next year for his sophomore season, while Boyd still does not know at this point where he will continue his collegiate tennis career. No matter what that school will be, his legacy at COD will be remembered for a long time.