Men’s Tennis Begins New Season
Last year, the men’s tennis team tied a team record for wins, finishing 13-7. With a multitude of freshmen on the team, the squad gelled quickly as a cohesive unit, reaching a level of success the Cardinals have seen only once before in their time with tennis. However, the team still has room to grow heading into this next campaign.
The Cardinal men consistently handled their non-conference opponents this past season, going an impressive 12-0 on the year. Unfortunately, the team has also consistently lost to their NESCAC opponents, managing only one victory in eight attempts. With a focused mentality and tougher schedule in the fall, the men’s tennis program hopes to take that final step to becoming a legitimate conference threat.
This offseason was one of transition for the Cardinals, with former coach Ken Alrutz leaving the team after eight successful seasons and Michael Fried taking the reins to the men’s team on an interim basis. Couple this with four incoming freshmen expected to make an impact on the squad and one might assume that the team will be searching for a new identity. Luckily, with 10 of the 11 letter-winners from last season returning, the team expects to build off a solid foundation.
Co-Captain Jeff Legunn ’13 will lead the way, maintaining his #1 seed for the fourth year in a row. Stephen Monk ’15, Ben Hudson ’15, and Donovan Suh ’15 all return after their successful first year looking to improve as sophomores. Co-Captain Michael Glen ’13 looks to be a presence either at the end of the singles depth chart or as a member of another stalwart doubles pair. Adding new talented blood with Michael King ’16 and Sam Rudovsky ’16, the Cardinals have reason to be excited for their upcoming season.
After intense competition before cutting the squad down to 14 on Wednesday, the team is ready for its first opportunity to take out its energy on an opponent. That will take place this Saturday, Sept. 8 when the Cardinals host Coast Guard and Nichols College for a double-header. Across the two matches, the team hopes to utilize its depth with the expectation of everyone playing.
The team also looks forward to a more competitive fall compared to last season. The Cardinals have scheduled matches against Little Three rivals Amherst and Williams, both nationally-ranked teams. Though much seems to be going on, the team is already optimistic and taking note of its own change.
“Under Coach Fried’s direction we’ve already started practicing with intensity,” Glen said. “Coach Fried will implement more cross-training and small-group focused practices. We’re looking forward to having a successful and productive year.”