The dynamic duo Riley Muren and Shree Patel have dominated the doubles court for the O’Fallon High varsity Panther tennis team so far in 2016.
Muren and Patel, both seniors at OTHS, are performing well in their final year at O’Fallon. So far this season the Panther number one doubles team are 4-3 and have picked up big wins over teams from Belleville West, Alton, Carbondale, and Sacred Heart Griffin.
Although you would not be able to tell, this is the first season of varsity play together for the duo who, haven’t played doubles together since their freshman year on junior varsity. Despite that, Patel and Muren have been getting used to each other quickly thanks in part to being friends for a long time. Most importantly, the pair enjoy playing together.
For Muren, the son of Anne and Greg, pre-planning plays a huge part in their success.
“Communication is a big part of our game,” said Muren. “We try to talk a lot before hand and during the match about how we want to play. I enjoy playing with Shree because he is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet and he has a great attitude. When he gets pumped he really starts to play his best.”
Patel, the son of Atul and Kabul, agreed with Muren’s sentiments towards their pairing.
“We started playing around the same time and we have been friends together ever since. Both of us share a lot of playing experience and know what to expect. We do a lot of planning and try our best to set an example for the rest of the team,” said Patel.
Panther varsity head coach Erin Thoman places a lot of the team’s leadership in Muren and Patel as captains.
“They are leaders on the team and lead by example,” said Thoman. “They put in a lot of time and it shows.”
Next year Muren has signed to play tennis at the University of Illinois Springfield where he will major in business and wants to attend Chiropractic school afterwards. Patel is still undecided where he will go to college.