HALFWAY through his college tennis career, Zach Bost can’t complain.
The former Jefferson star is already a two-time all-conference doubles player at Appalachian State, having just wrapped up a successful sophomore season as a Mountaineer.
“I’ve definitely improved,” Bost said. “I’m pretty satisfied with where I am. I just need to keep the work ethic up and keep improving and focusing on next season.”
Bost is one of the most highly accomplished tennis players to ever pick up a racket for Jefferson, amassing a 50-2 singles record and winning four Region Player of the Year awards from 2009-2012.
But so far at Appalachian State, Bost has made his name as a doubles player, serving as one half of the Southern Conference’s best doubles tandem the past two years.
Bost, alongside teammate Sebastien King, earned first-team all conference honors once again this year after going 13-7 at no. 1 doubles for the Mountaineers.
That included a 7-2 mark in conference play.
“We’ve been the top dog in the conference the past two years we’ve played in conference,” said Bost, who will lose King as his doubles partner to graduation. “We’ve gotten first-team all-conference the past two years. We’ve played very well together.”
Appalachian State men’s tennis coach Bob Lake said having Bost in that spot has been a luxury.
“With him at no. 1 doubles, you can almost count on winning doubles in the conference most of the time,” Lake said. “That’s a nice feature to have.”
After two years in college, Bost’s serve — at 115 mph and accurate — and his groundstrokes are his strong suits. That’s allowed Bost to play back more in doubles while his partner patrols the net.
“I had one guy sitting at the net and Zach’s back there just spanking groundstrokes at guys,” Lake said. “It was a good combination.”
Lake hopes to pair Bost with the right doubles partner next year with King leaving so that the Mountaineers can continue their doubles success.
“I’ve got to find him somebody for next year,” Lake said. “That’s the biggest thing.”
As for singles play, Bost went 8-13 this past season, rotating between the no. 3 and 4 spots. Bost said his singles play “needs to improve tremendously.” But he enjoyed a big moment when he delivered a victory at no. 4 singles March 2 to clinch a big Mountaineer win over Samford, which reached the NCAA tournament last year.
“Him pulling out that win was great because his parents were down there for that match,” Lake said. “That was a huge one. That was really big.”
Next year, Appalachian State moves to the Sun Belt Conference, where Bost believes the Mountaineers can be one of the top three teams. That could make for a big season for Bost and the ASU men’s tennis program.
“Hopefully, we can come out swinging and win the Sun Belt and go to the NCAAs,” Bost said.
Away from the tennis court, Bost — an exercise science major — loves being a student in the picturesque mountain town of Boone, N.C. He hopes to eventually land a sports-related job or one in physical therapy but, for now, is enjoying being part of Appalachian State University.
“I love it up there,” he said. “The campus is beautiful. You always have something to do up there, and I’m involved in a lot of stuff not related to sports, a bunch of clubs. I really enjoy it. It’s a great school.”
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