The Student News Site of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South

The Pirate's Eye

The Student News Site of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South

The Pirate's Eye

The Student News Site of West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South

The Pirate's Eye

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Pirates Pick: Nirbaan Maken

With the powerful swing of the wilson racket, the neon green ball being passed back and forth, one player does it better than all. Sporting a green and gold jersey, team captain Nirbaan Maken (‘24) shines on and off the tennis

As a two time MVP for South’s boys tennis team, Mercer County Tournament Champion and during his freshman year ranked top 30 in the state, Maken’s personal accolades speak for themselves. But, it is his contributions to the team that are truly remarkable. “As a team, we were able to climb the rankings last year and, at one point, were ranked fourth in the state after winning the sectional championship” said Maken.

Maken was introduced to the sport at the age of 6, “I would do private lessons with someone from my neighborhood who introduced me to the sport” he said. His passion for the sport grew and he was committed to getting better, so, “From there , I joined a tennis academy and began to compete in [United States Tennis Association] tournaments on a
weekly basis.”

When he reached South, he began playing doubles and met his doubles partner, Andrew Van Dusen (‘23). “By playing doubles together, we became close friends,” said Maken. During last year’s season, the
duo went undefeated with a record of 15-0 and secured the MCT championship for South.

Maken not only improved on the court, but off of it as well. “He is both a great player and supportive teammate, which is exactly what you want in a doubles partner and team captain,” said Assistant Coach Daniel Sierzega. Maken always welcomes new players and ensures they are feel-
ing comfortable. When Rishabh Shedkar (‘25) first joined the team, he was nervous and didn’t
know that many people. Maken made sure that Shedkar felt com-
fortable, and the two have grown close since. “He’s the kind of guy
that you want to be around, both on and off the court,” said Shedhker.

Teammate Kokulnath Ramasamy(‘25) said “ He is not a leader in terms of talk and motivation, but he is a leader by example,” Makens teammates are inspired by his example, “He is always on time to practice, he is always a good sport, and he never does any stupid activities that make
the team look bad.” Ramasamy said.

Maken hopes to keep building South’s program and using their momentum from the previous year. Last season, the team finished with a record of 23-2 and won the Colonial Valley Conference (CVC) Championship. This qualified them for the sectional championship tournament in which they made it to the finals, but lost to Milburn High School and finished second. Maken aims to do better and bring a Sectional Championship to South during his final year.

With Makens’ high school journey coming to a close, he hopes to continue playing club tennis at the University of Pennsylvania. “On a visit to the campus, I made sure to talk to some of the members of the team and was immediately excited to hear that they compete and practice consistently.” said Maken. He will also continue competing by participating in Men’s leagues. These leagues consist of friendly matches and tournaments which provide cash prizes. But before Maken can think about college, he still has one more high school season left. As the season approaches Maken aims to cement his legacy in the tennis program. “I hope to see good camaraderie and sportsmanship between the players that can continue on after I leave South,” said Maken.

Nirbaan Maken (‘24) focused as he smashes the ball.
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