Men’s Tennis Preview
The men's tennis team is poised to make a leap in the 2010-11 season. Coach Ken Alrutz is entering into his eighth season at the helm with one of the most talented top-to-bottom rosters to date. Led by tri-captains Jeff Legunn '13, Donald Kleckner '13, and Robert Troyer '12, the Cardinals are returning a strong, experienced squad, with seven letter winners from last season and five consistent starters taking to the Wood Memorial Courts again. With much of the team having spent three years together now, the Cardinal men are entering the season with a keen awareness of both their expectations and their potential.
“This year we want to make a statement,” Kleckner said. “We no longer can say we're young and getting a feel for it. We had the opportunity to make some moves in the NESCAC last year, but fell a little short. Now we have the experience and some young talent that can really allow us to succeed in the NESCAC.”
Last year the men’s tennis team fell short of its high aspirations, yet showed flashes of potential for the coming year. While singles play was a strong point for the Cardinals, with perennial presence in the #1 slot with Legunn leading the charge with a 15-3 personal record, doubles play was a comparatively lacking for the Cardinals, which finished with a 25-32 record. However, with the added depth of six new freshman recruits, a boon to a team that brought in no new players from the Class of 2014, Kleckner foresees a former weakness becoming a strength moving forward.
“I think it would be really cool if we could have six players to focus on singles and six to focus on doubles,” Kleckner said, “But we'll see where we end up.”
With the season opener on September 10 at the Coast Guard Academy fast approaching, the Cardinal men are primed to make a splash with a mix of youthful flair and veteran savvy. Time will tell how the new teammates can gel as a unit, but if the example of the tri-captains is any indications, the Cardinals may see themselves playing their way into the highly competitive NESCAC tournament come springtime.
“I think we're all on the same page in terms of making our season one of hard work, organization, teamwork, and dedication,” Kleckner said. “I think our work during practice should set the tone for the rest of the team and hopefully that will lead to successful matches.”