Men’s tennis will open its season next weekend sporting a roster of young talent. While 10 of the team’s 12 regularly rostered players are returning from last season, seniors are sparse. After the loss of superstars Nick Lebedoff ’10 and Jeremy Weinberger ’10, captain Ari Binder ’11 will step up to lead a team composed of four juniors, eight sophomores and two rookies.
Felix Sun ’13 will be a leader amongst his classmates. The Eph climbed to No. 1 singles last year, posting an overall record of 12-6 and garnering NESCAC Rookie of the Year and Second Team All-Conference honors in the spring. Bryan Chow ’13 will likely slide up to No. 2 singles, with Zach Weiss ’13 moving from No. 5 to No. 3, filling slots left empty by Weinberger and Lebedoff. The remainder of the team’s returning players and newcomers Matt Micheli ’14 and Adam Reich ’14 will compete for the remaining slots.
Binder isn’t worried about the youth of the team. “While we are a young team, [the sophomores showed last year] that they can step up and compete like leaders in big matches,” the captain said. That doesn’t mean, however, that he believes his team can take it easy this season. “Each of us has room for improvement,” Binder said. “Continuing to work on basic fundamentals … will be crucial for us.”
Dicken Chaplin ’12 and Chow return to the men’s No. 1 doubles spot, while Sun and Trey Meyer ’13 will again fill the third slot. Will Petrie ’12, half of last season’s No. 2 doubles team, is on the market for a new partner to round out the Ephs’ doubles lineup.
The men will have to hone their doubles games in order to succeed this season, in contrast to the team’s natural ability in singles play. “We pride ourselves in our grit and fighting spirit, which serve us well on the singles court,” Binder explained. “However, the quick pace of doubles does not allow for long battles, and we have historically struggled at doubles.”
The Ephs are aware of this weakness and are acting on that knowledge in order to improve their doubles play this season.
The men will host the ITA New England Regionals this weekend.