They patiently waited for their turns.

Now, it's their time to shine.

Such is the case for the members of the Hudson boys tennis team, which finished 9-8 overall and 6-1 in the Suburban League National Conference last spring.

The Explorers also finished second at the 2016 National Conference Tournament.

Hudson lost just one key player from year ago. That player was 2016 graduate Ari Basu, who played first singles for the Explorers.

However, Hudson hopes to prove that its sum is greater than the parts this spring.

"I really think we have great depth this year," 13th-year head Explorers coach Tim Morgan said. "We have a good group of players who worked on their game and they have steadily improved each year."

Morgan said four players are expected to compete for the three singles' spots.

They are senior Nicci Polifrone, who played second singles last season, juniors David Tullett and Sam Yurak and sophomore Harrshavasan Congivaram.

Morgan said seniors Teajun Kim, junior Darren Huang, sophomores Rob Tobin and Wendell Wu and freshman Kevin Si will most likely compete in doubles' play.

"I'm enthusiastic about our chances and the group of kids we have this year," Morgan said. "I'm impressed with how well they've worked on their games and how they work hard together."

Morgan's assistant is longtime coach Janice Kampf.

Wadsworth captured the National Conference title in 2016.

"We're playing to win," Morgan said. "Wadsworth has to be the favorite since they won it last year. We were one match from winning it. Sometimes, that's the difference between winning and losing.

"Brecksville-Broadview Heights has a stronger team and I'm not going to count out Twinsburg."

Morgan also believes Hudson can be a factor in the conference picture even if the Explorers might not be on top of everyone's list.

"We're a little bit under the radar," Morgan said. "We're hoping for a strong season. All of them are capable of playing at a higher level. We'll see as the season goes on."

Hudson is scheduled to make its 2017 debut against National Conference rival Nordonia April 3. The Explorers are set to entertain Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy April 4. Both matches are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.


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