The first time Dan Rohrbach remembers picking up a tennis racket, he was a freshman in high school.
Like his three classmates that year on the Moorestown tennis team — Dylan Paul, Adi Bulusu, and Akshay Bhalodia — Rohrbach figured tennis would be something he had fun with. He figured it was something to keep him busy after school.
Neither he nor his three classmates expected that one day they’d write their own entry into the history books of one of South Jersey’s most storied programs.
“I fell in love with the tennis my freshman year. And I think as a team, we decided early on that we were going to push each other to be the best that we can be,” Rohrbach said. “And I think that over the course of the years, we really grew together as a team.”
Rohrbach (88 career wins), Bhalodia (106), Bulusu (109) and Paul (103) — each a senior this spring and part of an unheralded group for most of their high school careers — combined for more than 400 career wins by the time this season ended.
Coach Bill Kingston, who has headed the Quakers tennis team since 1974, estimates that it’s a milestone he’s seen at Moorestown no more than twice in his tenure.
“They’ve been the core of the most dominant team in South Jersey over the past three years,” Kingston said. “And we didn’t have the ace at the top. But we had far superior balance and depth. And that’s part of the result of having these four guys in key spots.
“They really applied themselves for three years. They took the sport seriously. They practiced every day in the spring. Worked on their games in the offseason — and they saw results.”
Beyond their win totals, the Quakers won the South Jersey Group 3 title this year — their third sectional title in four years. They also won the Burlington County Open and the Moorestown Classic for the third year in a row.
Rohrbach and Bulusu were one of the most formidable doubles teams in the state, they won South Jersey and were 80-11 together over three years.
According to Rohrbach, doubles isn’t always about the skill level on the court, but the attitude of the teams. Their success, he said, is another sign, of the chemistry he and his teammates have, of how they push one another, and of a desire to live up to their program’s lofty standards.
“Chemistry is huge,” said Rohrbach who said the entire team was close-knit this year. “We’re all very competitive with one another. And no one of us will say that any one of us is better. We all think we’re the best.
“We all just try to compete with each other. We never want to lose to our friends.”
In an era of kids specializing in sports almost from the time they’re able to walk, the story of this year’s Quakers is something of a throwback. They joined the tennis team in high school. Loved the sport. Became friends with their teammates. And success grew from there.
Rohrback said none of his teammates had any idea the 400-win milestone was coming.
“They brought us out a cake with 400 written on it, and we were all shocked,” he said. “We weren’t really trying to accomplish this. We just tried to work as hard as we could, stay focused on our bigger goals. And this is something that just happened along the way.”