Mililani High Tennis Maintaining High Competitive Standard

Some things are inevitable. Put a pile of clothes in the dryer, and you always seem to have one less item when the cycle is finished.

But when it comes to tennis, you can be assured that both Mililani boys and girls tennis teams will be in the mix for an OIA championship. The Trojans made it a clean sweep in each division in both 2013 and 2014.

Mililani boys and girls teams head into postseason and appear right on schedule for another strong finish.

Mililani’s varsity boys and girls tennis coach Jason Agsalda recently took some time to visit with Central Oahu Islander.

What has enabled the Mililani community to produce such talented girls tennis players year after year?

I believe the feeder programs in the community have done a fine job in developing the talent that we have. I’m just fortunate enough to have some stay home and play for the high school. By the time they come up to us, the players have strong fundamentals, which makes our jobs easier.

What’s the best part of being the Mililani girls tennis coach?

To me, coaching is all about the players, and I have some great ones. They are all good kids on and off the court. The best part that I enjoy is the opportunity to work with them because they are all coachable. The parental support also has been very good; without their support, our program wouldn’t be where it is today.

What are your thoughts on Mililani’s season to date? What has pleased you most with your current group?

I had some concerns going into the season since we lost our No. 1 girl — Alyssa Tobita — to graduation, and Sage Leaman, who transferred, but knew we had some talent coming back. We started the season at Pearl City, and right off the bat the coaching staff really saw what our team was made of. We ended up winning the match, but it wasn’t without a fight. The players stuck together as a team, and everyone played well to pull out the victory.

Who have been your top leaders this season?

Without a doubt, it’s been our captains Elisha Lin, Ryan Hirokane, Mikah Sato, Alysse Nakasato and Haley Fujimori, who have been leading by their play, voice and experience. They have created a strong team bond, where everyone feels like they can contribute to the team’s success.

Who among your players has made the biggest leap from last year?

I believe that all of them have improved, but definitely players like Alysse Nakasato, Tayler dela Cruz, Davin Lee and Micah Andrade have stepped up their games to another level. These players have worked hard to improve their skills as well as their mental toughness.

Which match to date would you say was your team’s most impressive performance?

Probably the Pearl City match because they are our biggest rival. The OIA West title usually goes through us or them. The atmosphere is always like a playoff match, so to win that at their place was the most impressive performance to date.

Which of your players should we be watching for at the upcoming state tournament?

Although I like the chances of all my players, I believe my top doubles teams — in Alysse Nakasato/Haley Fujimori and Jace Akagi-Okuma/Davin Lee — have the tools to make a deep run in the tournament. Both teams played together last year and are looking forward to making it farther, hopefully bringing home an individual title to the school. But, like I tell all my players, we have to take each match one at a time.

What are your thoughts on your current senior class?

The senior class this year (Elisha, Ryan, Mikah, Kaua Beamer and Philip Plymale) is really special because the majority of them started with me when I first took over the program. I have seen them grow not only into awesome tennis players, but into responsible young adults. I’m very confident that they will all be successful in life after tennis and high school.