As the calendar turns on the men’s tennis fall season, the team showed that there is a lot to look forward to when spring rolls around.
Entering his second season as men’s tennis coach, Toby Coffin was pleased that the team was able to add some depth to its roster.
“The match we had against Nichols exposed our lack of depth,” Coffin said.
The team started with low numbers this fall and only had one freshman recruit. Coffin managed to make the late additions of freshman Matt Blomberg, freshman Josh Robinson and junior Brian Piquette, adding crucial depth.
As the fall season concludes, the players are not allowed to have any contact with coaches until January due to NCAA rules. Coffin hopes that the players will continue to play in the offseason as it is essential to improve their game.
“The opportunity is there,” Coffin said when talking about off-season play. Coffin went on to add that players can play in the field house, on the courts and in UFCA tournaments as they prepare for the spring.
On the court this fall, the team was 2-1, beating Western New England (8-1), and MCLA (9-0).
“I think we played relatively well considering we have a short fall season,” said Perry Wright, the team’s assistant coach.
The men’s fall season runs five weeks starting at the beginning of September and concluding the first week in October.
“We did not have a lot of matches this fall, and we will have to step up our play to match our tough conference,” Coffin said.
Some of the team’s goals for the fall were to come together as a team and figure out its lineup. Wright feels that these goals were met and they even have a good sense of where the freshmen are going to fit in come spring. The victory over cross city-rival Western New England was another good achievement for the team this fall. Coach Wright went on to add that there is still room for improvement.
“We expect to do well both in and out of conference play this season,” said Wright when asked of the team’s expectations for the spring. He went on to add that they are going to have to work hard to compete against the teams on their schedule. “The team is looking for a winning season and more conference wins than last year,” Wright said.
A few players to watch this spring who performed well in the fall season are sophomore Kyle Mersereau and senior Ben Burnap. Mersereau, looking to return as the team’s representative at No.1 singles and No.1 doubles, went 2-1 this fall in both singles and doubles competition.
“Being a freshman last year at the top of the lineup gave me perspective on how deep the competition was. This year I know what to expect and how to prepare better,” said Mersereau.
Mersereau’s doubles partner, Burnap, also went 2-1 in singles and doubles competition, playing at No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles.
“Overall, I believe we had a solid fall season. After a tough loss at Nichols we picked ourselves up and won our last two matches against WNE and MCLA,” said freshman Jordan Karnes. “We have a solid group of players on our team and I believe we have a lot to look forward to going into the spring season.”
Despite lacking some depth on the roster, the team is well balanced by class. The team is comprised of three seniors, two juniors, three sophomores and three freshmen. The men’s tennis team opens its spring schedule and at home on March 26, and is certainly a team to keep an eye on this spring.
Men’s Tennis Spring Home Schedule
March 26 vs. RIC
March 28 vs. Hunter
April 6 vs. Wheaton
April 20 vs. MIT